IDFA told the Food and Drug Administration last week in comments that the agency’s decision to allow more time for companies to implement new Nutrition Facts label changes would help companies to provide clear information to consumers who read labels to make informed choices. The additional time also will allow companies to better coordinate their efforts and lessen the financial burden of relabeling, IDFA said.
FDA last month proposed extending the compliance date for updates from July 26, 2018, to Jan. 1, 2020. In the comments, IDFA supported FDA’s proposal, agreeing that companies need more time for implementation, and asked the agency to quickly finalize guidance documents.
If finalized, the proposal would push the compliance date for manufacturers with $10 million or more in annual food sales from July 26, 2018, to Jan. 1, 2020. Manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales would have until Jan. 1, 2021, to comply, instead of the current deadline of July 26, 2019.
In the comments, IDFA explained that dairy products like ice cream, frozen desserts, yogurts, flavored milk and dairy beverages have complex ingredients and flavorings, and dairy companies need significant time to undertake labeling changes. A waffle-cone flavored ice cream can contain around 58 ingredients, IDFA pointed out, noting that the new rule requires companies to update information on the levels of added sugars, dietary fiber, vitamin D and potassium for each of them.
IDFA added that companies are waiting for FDA to issue final guidance documents for both fiber and added-sugar labeling and will need time to incorporate the guidance.
While acknowledging that the proposed Jan. 1, 2020, compliance date is a step forward, IDFA urged FDA to collaborate with the U.S Department of Agriculture on its proposal for the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard, which will be released in 2018. IDFA stressed the need for the agencies to harmonize compliance dates for the two regulations and allow the industry to streamline its labeling efforts.
Read the comments here.
For more information, contact Cary Frye, IDFA senior vice president of regulatory affairs, at email@example.com.