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FDA Indefinitely Delays Nutrition Fact Labels

Former First Lady Michelle Obama had pushed for the labels to include added sugars and highlighted calorie contents.
June 15, 2017

​WASHINGTON – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has delayed the implementation of nutritional fact labels backed by former first lady Michelle Obama, the Washington Post reports. The packaged food and beverage industry lobbied the agency against the labels.

Designed to help Americans make better choices with packaged foods and drinks, the labels would have included a line for “added sugars” and emphasized calorie content more than current labels. The scheduled rollout for July 2018 has been put on hold indefinitely.

The move comes on the heels of other reversals by the Trump administration, including a delay in menu labeling. The food industry calls the Nutrition Facts delay a win for “commonsense” regulation.

However, some food makers are already complying with the new label regs, such as Nabisco/Mondelez, PepsiCo and KIND. Mars Inc. had been one to encourage the agency to keep to the original deadline. “We support this because we believe in giving consumers more transparency,” Brad Figel, vice president of public affairs for Mars in North America, said. “The fact that we’ll have the added sugar declaration and the percent daily value, but our competitors won’t? That just ends up confusing consumers.”

For its part, “the FDA determined that additional time would provide manufacturers covered by the rule with necessary guidance from FDA, and would help them be able to complete and print updated nutrition fact panels,” the agency wrote in its decision.