UPDATE: FDA Delays Compliance Dates for the New Nutrition Facts Label Rule
In an earlier article, we detailed some of the new changes that would be implemented with the new Nutrition Facts Label rule. That article also provided the compliance dates for the rule. On September 29,2017, however, the FDA proposed yet another deadline extension for food companies to bring their products’ labeling into compliance with the new Nutrition Facts Label rule. Amid concerns of requiring more time to implement the final rules, raised by trade groups and companies, the FDA decided to further delay the compliance dates. The proposed extension dates are January 1, 2020, for companies with food sales of $10 million or more a year and January 1, 2021, for companies with less than $10 million a year in food sales.
In a news release issued September 29, 2017, The FDA reiterated its commitment “to making sure that consumers have the facts they need to make informed decisions about their diet and the foods they feed their families.” Furthermore, because this extension is a proposal, the FDA will exercise discretion with respect to the current compliance dates of July 26, 2018, and July 26, 2019.
The FDA is accepting comments on the extension of the compliance dates for thirty (30) days, beginning on October 2, 2017. Comments should be identified with Docket No. FDA-2012-N-1210 for “Food Labeling: Revision of the Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels; Extension of Compliance Date” or Docket No. FDA-2004-N-0258 for “Food Labeling: Serving Sizes of Foods That Can Reasonably Be Consumed At One Eating Occasion; Dual-Column Labeling; Updating, Modifying, and Establishing Certain Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed; Serving Size for Breath Mints; and Technical Amendments; Extension of Compliance Dates,” and should be submitted to http://regulations.gov or to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.
Because this is the second proposal for extending the deadline for the new Nutrition Facts Label rule, there is speculation that the compliance date will be postponed indefinitely. However, despite the delays, the FDA has stated that companies will still need to comply with the new Nutrition Facts Label rules.
Therefore, we recommend that you begin compliance effective immediately, as many products are perishable within 12 months from the date of packaging. This will avoid future costs of relabeling. Products packaged before the final rule’s effective date without the new labeling requirement are still required to be compliant by the new compliance date to avoid enforcement action by the FDA.
If you have any questions about FDA labeling, we at Diaz Trade Law can review your existing label to ensure that it is compliant with the new Nutrition Facts Label Rule. Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 305-456-3830.