In a widely anticipated move, the FDA announced this week that it will extend the July 2018 compliance date for the revision to the Nutrition Facts panel. The revised panel will display calories more prominently on the label, as well as list added sugars.
The FDA did not reveal how long the compliance date would be delayed, but requests from industry to delay it have been based on a desire to align the timelines of the Nutrition Facts panel revision with the compliance deadline for USDA’s bioengineered food disclosure rule. While USDA’s rule is required to be finalized by July 2018, the compliance date is expected to be two to three years after the final rule is published. The Administration has been suggesting that it favors aligning the two labeling rules.
Responding to concerns that the compliance date for the Nutrition Facts panel update would be delayed indefinitely, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb declared on Twitter that the delay would be time limited in order to provide more guidance. He added that further details, including a new compliance date, would be announced in a forthcoming Federal Register Notice.