Proposed Changes to Nutrition Labels

March 12, 2014

Food labelingThe FDA published two new proposed rules in regards to nutrition labels on Monday, March 3rd, 2014. 79 FR 11879 proposes to update nutrition information provided on labels in light of developments in nutrition science since labeling requirements were implemented 20 years ago. The FDA also proposes to change serving size requirements and labeling for certain package sizes.

The new labels highlight a more prominent display of the number calories in the food product, to “emphasize intake of total calories.” When nutrition labels were first implemented, there was a higher concern over fat, but more recent science has shown that the type of fat is more important than the total amount of fat, so calories from fat will no longer be listed, though amounts for total, saturated and trans fat will still be displayed.

The proposed updated also aims to include “Added Sugars” to the label, to draw attention to sugar that is added beyond what is naturally occurring in the food product. The FR highlights evidence showing that added sugars contribute to higher body fat, and because added sugars and solid fats tend to replace nutrient-dense foods and beverages, their inclusion tends to make it difficult for individuals to “achieve recommended nutrient intake while controlling their calorie intake.”

The other proposed change offered by the FDA is to update serving size requirements to more accurately reflect what Americans are eating based on more recent data. See 79 FR 11989.  The goal is to make it easier for individuals to accurately determine how many calories they are consuming. Other proposed changes include requiring potassium and Vitamin D to appear on the label, dropping the requirements for Vitamin A and C, and re-arranging the percentage Daily Values to the left of the label, rather than the right, as it appears now.

Manufacturers would have two years from the effective date of the rule to comply with the new regulations.

You can find the current food labeling regulations by running the following plain language search in the Code of Federal Regulations:

food labeling regulations

Our initial results include:

21 C.F.R. § 101.9 – Nutrition Labeling of Food

21 C.F.R. § 101.13 – Nutrient Content Claims – General Principles

21 C.F.R. § 101.2 – Information Panel of Package form Food.

The new regulations propose to amend 21 CFR Part 101 (Food Labeling).