NEW YORK (AP) — A revamped nutrition facts panel designed to make it easier for Americans to see how many calories and added sugars are in packaged foods and drinks is being delayed.
The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday it plans to push back the deadline for a rule requiring food companies to use the new label. It’s the Trump administration’s latest delay of the Obama administration’s rules intended to improve food labeling and make foods healthier and safer.
The revised nutrition facts panel would make the calorie counts on packaged food and drinks more prominent, adjust serving sizes to be more realistic and specify the amount of added sugars in products. The labels currently list how many total sugars are in a product, including those that are naturally occurring, such as in fruit and milk.
Previously, the FDA had given companies until July 26, 2018, to comply, with smaller food makers getting an extra year. On Tuesday, the FDA said it intends to give companies additional time to be in compliance. It did not provide a specific deadline. Spokeswoman Deborah Kotz said in an email that details will be released at a later date.
The Grocery Manufacturers Association and other industry groups had asked for the deadline to be pushed to 2021, according to a letter sent earlier this year to Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who was appointed by President Donald Trump. The letter was obtained by the health advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest.
In a statement, the Grocery Manufacturers Association said food and beverage companies want to help people make informed choices, but the “fast-approaching compliance deadline” was difficult to meet without final guidance from the FDA on certain details. For instance, the association noted that the FDA still needs to evaluate whether some commonly used ingredients in food products can continue to be counted as fiber on the new panel.
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Source: CBS News