Washington — The FDA will extend the compliance deadline for rules regarding implementation of changes to Nutrition Facts Panel labels, the agency reports.
The decision to postpone the label requirements was “guided by the desire to give industry more time and decrease costs, balanced with the importance of minimizing the transition period during which consumers will see both old and new versions of the label in the marketplace,” FDA reports.
No new deadline date has been set at this time, and FDA reports details of the extension will be provided through a Federal Register Notice at a later date. The original deadline, announced in May 2016, was set for July 26, 2018, with manufacturers with annual sales of less than $10 million receiving an extra year to comply.
Noting NCA worked with other trade groups to advocate for additional time, Association President and CEO John Downs says: “We are optimistic that the additional time will alleviate some of the burden for confectionery manufacturers. Depending on the new timeline, there may now be an opportunity to work toward harmonizing the compliance deadlines for Nutrition Facts and GMO labeling rules that would prevent manufacturers from having to change their labels twice.”
Downs notes the extension might also give industry players the chance to work through existing labeling inventory, while gaining better understanding of the new regulations.
“We are still awaiting final guidance from FDA on a number of critical labeling issues, such as added sugars, requirements for small packages, fiber definition, and we will continue to work with the agency on these topics,” he adds.