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FDA Officials Clarify Proposed Changes to Nutrition Facts Labels

Jun 26, 2014
Jillonne Kevala, Ph.D., supervisory chemist, FDA

Participants at Regulatory RoundUP learned new details on Tuesday about the proposed changes to the nutrition facts information and serving sizes on food labels. Two officials from the Food and Drug Administration discussed how the new rules will affect dairy products, offered a clarification on products that will receive exemptions for dual column requirements and reviewed changes to the mandatory declaration of nutrients that apply to vitamins A and D.

During the session, “Stay a Step Ahead of Changes to the Nutrition Facts Label,” Jillonne Kevala, Ph.D., supervisory chemist, FDA, discussed the agency’s proposal to require food packages containing two to four servings to feature dual column labeling for nutrition information; one column would be cover individual serving size and the other would list information for the entire container.

Smaller Packages Exempt

Kevala said the proposed rules would exempt small packages with less than 40 square inches of labeling space, which are often used for cheeses. These small products are currently permitted to use the linear or tabular formats for nutrition facts panel and would not be subject to the new dual column requirements.

Kevala also confirmed that dairy products used solely as an ingredient, such as grated or shredded cheeses that are packaged to contain two to four servings, would be exempt from the dual column format.

Vitamins A and D

Paula Trumbo, Ph.D., nutrition programs, FDA, provided an overview of changes to the mandatory declaration of nutrients and discussed the new provisions for added sugars. She also reviewed the proposed change that would no longer require vitamin A and vitamin C to be declared, saying these would be replaced by vitamin D and Potassium. She clarified that when vitamin A is added to fortify a milk or dairy product, as is required for reduced-fat milks and dairy foods, this would trigger the need to include vitamin A on the label.

These modifications are part of FDA’s proposed changes to the nutrition labels for all packaged foods and beverages. If approved, the new labels would place a greater emphasis on total calories and added sugars, and change Daily Values for certain nutrients, including Vitamin D and potassium. FDA also proposes changes to serving size requirements for ice cream and other products in an effort to reflect more accurately the amount that people usually eat or drink.

In response to the proposed rule, IDFA is preparing extensive comments to submit by the August 1, 2014, deadline.

For more information, contact Cary Frye, IDFA vice president of regulatory and scientific affairs, at

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