Representatives from IDFA and several other food trade associations met last week with key officials at the Food and Drug Administration, including Michael Taylor, deputy commissioner for foods, to discuss expected changes to the Nutrition Facts Panel. Taylor is leading FDA's efforts to ensure that food labels contain clear and accurate information on nutrition.
FDA expects to release a proposed rule sometime this spring, but Taylor acknowledged that coming to a final rule would be a multi-year process. IDFA is following the agency's efforts closely because any changes to the Nutrition Facts Panel would drive changes to nutrient daily values (DV), serving sizes and nutrient content claims used by dairy processors, such as "light," "fortified," "excellent source" and "reduced fat."
"The meeting was very positive and helpful, especially given the expected timing for the proposed rule," said Clay Hough, IDFA senior group vice president, who attended the meeting along with Cary Frye, IDFA vice president of regulatory and scientific affairs. "We outlined our members' interests and concerns to help FDA senior executives understand the enormous economic and operational impact that changes to the Nutrition Facts Panel would have on every dairy product."
Paula Trumbo, acting director of FDA's Office of Nutrition Labeling and Dietary Supplements, said the updates are being assessed to address current nutrient recommendations, public health concerns based on recent data on food consumption, and the agency's desire to make this information as clear and useful as possible. Read "Nutrition Facts Label: 20 and Evolving."
Also at the meeting were Michael Landa, director of FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, and Jessica Leighton, senior nutrition science and policy advisor in FDA's Office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine. Landa leads the center’s efforts to develop and implement programs and policies related to the composition, quality, safety, and labeling of foods, food and color additives, dietary supplements and cosmetics.
IDFA will continue to work with FDA and share additional information during the coming months.
The other trade associations represented at the meeting were
- American Bakers Association;
- American Beverage Association;
- American Frozen Foods Institute;
- Institute of Shortening and Edible Oils;
- Snack Foods Association; and
- The Sugar Association.
For more information, contact Frye at firstname.lastname@example.org.