First Lady Michelle Obama, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Food and Drug Commissioner Margaret Hamburg today announced proposed updates to the Nutrition Facts panel and the corresponding rules on serving sizes. Among other changes, they called for a more prominent display of the calorie declaration and modified servings per container, along with a new declaration for added sugars.
The proposed changes would affect nearly all packaged foods, including all milk and dairy products sold at retail. The recommended Daily Value (DV) for calcium would increase from 1,000 mg to 1,300 mg, and milk would still qualify as an “excellent source.” Also, the DV for sodium would decrease modestly from 2,400 to 2,300 mg, and the DV for protein remains unchanged, so most dairy products can still make claims about the “good source of protein.”
Serving sizes for milk would remain the same at one cup, and cheese would stay at one ounce. The serving size for yogurts would decrease from eight ounces to six ounces, which is the most common size sold at retail. Based on a recent government consumption survey finding that the average amount of ice cream consumed is 0.875 cup, FDA proposed doubling the serving size for ice cream from one-half cup to one cup.
“The proposed nutrition label and serving-size changes have huge implications for the dairy industry beyond the required nutrient declaration changes. They will also result in the need for some products that use nutrition claims such as “low-fat” or “fat-fee” to reformulate to meet the claims based on changed serving sizes,” said Cary Frye, IDFA vice president for regulatory and scientific affairs.
IDFA will review the proposed changes in-depth to discover their full impact on the dairy industry and work with members to provide feedback to FDA. The public comment period will run 90 days following the proposed rule’s publication in the Federal Register, which likely will be tomorrow.
FDA aims to complete the regulations next year, and companies would have two years to comply after the final rules are published.
In addition to filing comments, IDFA will continue to work with its food industry partners, including the Grocery Manufacturers Association, to emphasize the effectiveness of voluntary labeling options,” said Jerry Slominski, IDFA senior vice president of legislative affairs and economic policy. “IDFA also will continue to educate policy makers on Capitol Hill about the great nutritional value of dairy products.”
Members with questions may contact Michelle Matto, IDFA’s consultant on nutrition and labeling issues, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The Nutrition Facts label has been required on food packages for 20 years, helping consumers better understand the nutritional value of foods so they can make healthy choices for themselves and their families. The label has not changed significantly since 2006 when information on trans fat had to be declared on the label.