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What about the Supplement Facts label?
FDA wants to update the Nutrition Facts label that appears on most food and beverage packages in the United States. The most notable changes include a new way to list serving sizes, listing of added sugars, new inclusion of vitamin D and potassium content, and now-voluntary-and not mandatory-inclusion of vitamin A and C content. Manufacturers would have up to two years to comply with the proposed label once it is finalized.
Dietary supplement manufacturers-heads up! Dietary supplements may also see changes down the line. The agency says it is also looking to update the Supplement Facts label, including altered Daily Values and units of measure.
"The proposed changes will affect dietary supplement products as well. The changes to the Daily Values of certain nutrients will apply to products labeled as dietary supplements," says Justin Prochnow, an attorney and shareholder at Greenberg Traurig LLC (Denver). "The proposed rule modifies the labeling provisions contained in 21 CFR 101.36 regarding dietary supplements, although the changes to Supplement Facts panels will not be as dramatic as those to the Nutrition Facts panels."
Among the Nutrition Facts label changes proposed:
If there’s something you don’t agree with, FDA is accepting public comments for 90 days-a period that kicks off as soon as the proposed rule is published in the Federal Register, which should happen shortly.
Since it was introduced 20 years ago, the Nutrition Facts label has never been updated except to include a “Trans Fat” listing.
Foods imported to the U.S. would also be subject to any Nutrition Facts label changes.
The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN; Washington, DC) says it is pleased to see FDA will continue using the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) to establish the Daily Values reflected on the Nutrition Facts Label. Alternatively, FDA could have gone with Estimated Average Requirements (EAR), which are used to calculate the RDA. While RDA represents the daily dietary intake of a nutrient that sufficiently meets the needs of 97.5% of healthy people, EAR sets a lower bar and represents the nutrition needs of only 50% of people. As such, the RDA is typically 20% higher than EAR. If FDA had gone with the EAR, essentially it would have lowered the nutrient requirement bar.
“CRN applauds FDA for keeping the RDA as its standard for [Daily Values] on food labels. At a time when we know of significant nutrient shortfalls in the typical American diet, it would have been a mistake to water down nutritional requirements so that at most only half the population would be covered,” said Andrea Wong, Ph.D., vice president, scientific and regulatory affairs, CRN.
The association also praised FDA for planning to revise Daily Values for certain nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D to take into account updated science.
Nutritional Outlook magazine
1) One version of the newly proposed Nutrition Facts label
2) Another proposed version
3) A side-by-side comparison of the current Nutrition Facts label and the newly proposed label