On June 13, 2017, the US Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) announced that it was extending the compliance date for the Nutrition Facts Label rule.

The FDA will provide the final details regarding the extension of the compliance date through a Federal Register Notice that it will publish at a later date.

The FDA released the final Nutrition Facts Label rule in May 2016. The compliance date was originally set as July 26, 2018 and an additional year was given to certain manufacturers with annual food sales of less than US$10 million.

The FDA stated that it decided to extend the compliance date for the Nutrition Facts Label rule after it received concerns from industry.

For example, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (“GMA”) asked the US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price for the rule deadline to be extended to 2021. The GMA stated that the original compliance date for the rule was quickly nearing and there was still guidance needed from the FDA, such as whether certain ingredients in products could still be classified as fiber on the new panels.

FDA stated that it wanted to ensure that manufacturers affected by the rule had enough time to receive necessary guidance from FDA to comply with the rule and sufficient time to update for their products the nutrition facts panel labels. Furthermore, FDA explained that the extension of compliance time will decrease costs for industry and by giving industry more time to comply, this will also help reduce consumer confusion by minimizing the transition period during which both old and new labels will be on products in the market.

The extension to the compliance date for the Nutrition Facts Label rule is the latest of FDA rule extension under the Trump Administration. In May, the FDA also extended the compliance date for the Menu Labeling rule by one year.

It is yet to be seen as to what the new compliance date will be for the Nutrition Facts Label rule. While some news sources reported 2021, the FDA has yet to provide a date—its extension was silent on a specific date.

Due to the uncertainty, industry should still continue to take efforts to update the Nutrition Facts labels on its products. The Health Law Pulse will continue to monitor updates regarding the Nutrition Facts Label rule.