Implement new Nutrition Facts labeling
Comments to FDA: Nutrition Facts Label Delay
October 27, 2017
Dear Commissioner Gottlieb,
One of the most common questions from today’s consumers is confusion about the sugar content of packaged foods. The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) plan to require disclosure of added sugars on the Nutrition Facts Panel was a huge win for consumers, enabling them to make more informed decisions in grocery stores.
On behalf of our 58,000 member-owners, I’m writing to request that FDA implement the updated Nutrition Labels without further delay. They’re important to public health.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends keeping intake of added sugars below 24g/day. Current nutrition labels combine added sugars and intrinsic (natural) sugars together, reported as total sugars. They make it impossible for shoppers to comply with the AHA’s important dietary recommendation.
Please follow through with the initial implementation date of July 2018. Do not postpone further. The public wants and needs more information — not less — about the products they purchase for their families, especially families impacted by chronic health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Manufacturers were notified in 2016 that changes were coming and we now are halfway through the initial compliance timeline. It is clear that industry does not want to provide this information but the FDA’s Mission states, “The Food and Drug Administration is responsible for protecting the public health” and these new nutrition labels will help do that.
Thousands of products already are labeled with the updated Nutrition Facts Panel, in response to the FDA’s initial guidance to provide this information by June 2018. Delaying the new labels will create further confusion as consumers will be comparing nutrition labels with different formats for an additional 18 months.
Both large and small brands already have complied with the new label requirements, and allowing an additional 18 months for manufacturers “to complete and print updated Nutrition Facts labels for their products” is not acceptable. Given the high rate of diet-related diseases in America, the FDA should act quickly to require the new Nutrition Facts labels without delay.
Nick Rose, MS
PCC Nutrition Educator