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USFDA’s Enforcement Discretion On Nutritional Label Change


November 21, 2019

Here’s why it’s a good call…

In October 2019, the FDA added a statement to its “Industry Resources on the Changes to the Nutrition Facts Label” webpage to declare that it does not intend to take enforcement actions on new nutrition labeling requirements for the first six months following the January 1, 2020 compliance date for businesses with more than $10 million in annual food sales. Backgrounder: The year 2018 saw a welcome initiative of combating obesity related disorders by introducing changed in the nutrient label information on all packaged foods and beverage containers in the U.S. The revision comes 25 years after it was first introduced in 1994 and urgently too after the American Heart Association revealed that while the recommended intake for adults is no more than 6 to 9 teaspoons of added sugar a day, the actual consumption among them far exceeds 17 teaspoons a day. But what does this update mean for the manufacturer? A brief recap into the FDA ruling on 03rd May 2018 reminds us the compliance dates for the Nutrition Facts and Supplement Facts label and Serving Size final rules were

  • Extended from July 26, 2018, to Jan 1, 2020, for manufacturers with $10 million or more in annual food sales.
  • Manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales would have an additional year to comply – until Jan 1, 2021.
  • Manufacturers of most single-ingredient sugars such as honey and maple syrup and certain cranberry products have until July 1, 2021, to make the changes.
  • Manufacturers of certain flavored dried cranberries have until July 1, 2020 to make the changes.

       And so the October 2019 FDA announcement is a welcome change because:

  1. You are granted a much needed – flexibility to transition into new label requirements seamlessly. It helps companies liked yours maintain extra diligence in implementing the new label ergo reducing the risk for errors made in haste.
  2. This helps number of companies faced with large amounts of obsolete packaging inventory deal with high costs for wasted packaging which run into millions.
  3. One also needs to consider the magnitude of the task of revising all labels across multiple product lines,
  4. The difficulty of predicting label inventory levels required to meet the current and upcoming stock and
  5. The significant cost and environmental impact of disposing of existing label inventory

The consumer’s right to know and the desire for transparency, as well as the manufacturer’s ability to deliver accurate changes have been balanced reasonably well by the FDA. So get striking while the iron’s hot! If you’re looking out for implementing the updated rules, your best friend during this time would be the proofing tools and smart checklist offered by ManageArtworks – an Artwork Management System fully compliant with the latest nutrition panel rules. Click here to know more or better, drop us your contact and we’ll reach out to you pronto.

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