Updated Nutrition Facts Label Date Should Be Call to Action for Food Industry
Statement of CSPI President Dr. Peter G. Lurie
The Food and Drug Administration’s announcement today of an 18-month delay in requiring implementation of the updated Nutrition Facts Label may be unfortunate but does provide a certainty that should now spur companies to action. Consumers want the updated label—with the new line for added sugars, bolder presentation of calories, and more realistic serving sizes—sooner rather than later; a national poll by CSPI found that 87 percent of Americans say the label updates are useful to them.
The FDA announced that the updated labels will be required for large companies by January 2020, instead of the original date of July 2018, and for smaller companies by January 2021, instead of the original date of July 2019. Some segments of the food industry had sought longer delays.
The reality is that the labels are already on more than 29,000 products on grocery shelves, and more appear weekly. So today’s announcement should be a call to action for companies to provide consumers the information they want now, rather than waiting for the legal deadline.