Delaying, Not Dropping, the Nutrition Facts Label Update

A few weeks ago, the FDA announced an indefinite delay in the new Nutrition Facts label. This label discloses what’s in every food product sold in the U.S. It would — for the first time ever — give consumers information about how much added sugar is in a product.

Howls of Protest

When this delay surfaced, howls of protest went up from consumer advocates. Many consumers want to know how much sugar food makers are adding to the food they buy. The Center for Science in the Public Interest said:

The ability of the Trump administration to repeat its mistakes is breathtaking, Just like with the menu labeling delay, this administration is denying consumers critical information they need to make decisions, and it’s throwing the food industry into disarray.

No Plans to Reverse the Rule

So this week, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told the Senate Appropriations Committee not to worry. He said this delay simply provids time for:

Additional guidance to sponsors on how to interpret aspects of the new Nutrition Facts label. This is a time limited delay. This is not a suspension of the regulation. We are not reopening the regulation.

These political maneuvers are a waste of everyone’s time. Food companies have seen these changes coming for years. They were final a year ago. Consumers want the information. Food companies that drag their feet risk alienating their customers. They can’t hide.

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Delayed, photograph © Glen Scott / flickr

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June 24, 2017