Nutrition Facts Update: Compliance Date Expected to be Delayed 18 Months

Last Thursday, at the Politico Policy Summit, Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced that the new Nutrition Facts requirements compliance date will be pushed back one-year and, subsequently, announced via Twitter that the compliance date extension will be “closer to 18 months.” 

As described in our last blog on this topic, industry groups met with the Trump Administration requesting that the compliance date be pushed out as far as 2021, arguing that the requirements should be coordinated with the coming GMO disclosure rule.  The extended compliance date appears to be a middle ground, as FDA has also received pressure from consumer groups to maintain the original 2018 compliance date (see our June blog describing consumer group advocacy).

Importantly, Commissioner Gottlieb clarified that the Agency is committed to implement the new Nutrition Facts requirements.  He stated that the Nutrition Facts update is a “broadly bi-partisan” policy and that the agency has a “mandate to implement the laws of Congress and [FDA] will follow through with that.” 

During a panel discussion, the Commissioner elaborated that the delay was needed because “the agency was not ready to implement [the new Nutrition Facts requirements] on schedule.”  He added that the Obama Administration "sped it up to try to get the implementation deadline before the end of the [] term" and that "it put the agency in a difficult position." According to Commissioner Gottlieb, the agency was in a "difficult position" because "they didn’t have all of the implementing guidance that they needed to implement that regulation."  Accordingly, he stated that additional guidance will be forthcoming over the course of the next year, with specific mention of guidance on “added sugars.”

Although FDA has not yet updated the compliance date on its website, we expect additional information to be posted in the coming weeks.

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