The Food and Drug Administration published on Monday two proposed rules that would make further changes to updates to the Nutrition Facts panel that the agency proposed last year. One would mandate a percent Daily Value declaration for added sugars and define the term Percent Daily Value (%DV) in a footnote on the label. The other proposed a reopening of the comment period for 60 days for the sole purpose of inviting public comments on two consumer studies that FDA conducted related to added sugars declaration and the %DV footnote.
The new rules were based on the report from the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee and the results from the two consumer studies, which were also released on Monday.
The Dietary Guidelines report recommended that Americans should limit added sugar intake to less than 10 percent of dairy calories. Based on that report, FDA has recommended a Daily Value for added sugars of 50 grams for people aged four and older, with a Daily Value of 25 grams for children between the ages of one and three. FDA also proposed a mandatory declaration of percent Daily Value for added sugars in the Nutrition Facts panel to help consumers understand their added sugars intake in the context of their total diet.
In addition, the supplemental proposed rule would consider substituting the term “Total Sugars” for “Sugars” in the Nutrition Facts panel if added sugars content is required and would withdraw an alternate format that would group nutrients under category headings such as “avoid too much” and “get enough of.”
FDA previously proposed to remove the requirements for a footnote listing the reference values of certain nutrients for 2,000-calorie and 2,500-calorie diets and reserved space at the bottom of the Nutrition Facts panel for a new footnote based on consumer research to help consumers better understand the meaning of “%DV.” The proposed footnote would read, “*The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet.”
Comments on the supplemental proposed rule are due by October 13, 2015. and comments on the two consumer studies are due on September 25, 2015.
“IDFA plans to submit written comments on the supplemental proposed rule that are consistent with our initial submission to FDA opposing added sugars,” said Cary Frye, IDFA vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs. “No scientific support exists for distinguishing between ‘added sugars’ and ‘naturally occurring’ sugars. All sugars have the same nutritional impact – a gram of sugar is a gram of sugar – and the body doesn’t distinguish a difference between naturally occurring and added sugars.”
If FDA does finalize the added sugars requirement, IDFA said in its previous comments that the definition would need significant revision. IDFA also said lactose and milk ingredients containing lactose, such as dried milk, concentrated milk and whey, should not be included in the added sugars definition.
Members with questions may contact Frye at email@example.com or Michelle Matto, IDFA’s nutrition and labeling consultant, at firstname.lastname@example.org.