The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently released guidance to assist food and dietary supplement companies on how to convert the previous units of measure for folate, niacin, vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin E to the new units required on the updated Nutrition Facts and Supplement Facts labels.  The guidance includes step by step instructions, conversion factors for each nutrient, and sample calculations for converting to the new units of measure.

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In response to the growing body of scientific understanding of obesity, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and the ways our diet impacts such health issues, the FDA has proposed two updates to the venerable nutrition label found on all food packaging in the United States. These two rules propose to update the label, removing some dietary information and adding others, and to provide better context for the values presented to consumers. In addition, the economic, manufacturing and logistic impact these changes will have on the economic cannot be understated. Members of the industry should be aware of these proposed changes, and that the FDA has opened a comment period on the proposed rules until August 1, 2014.

The FDA has proposed two new rules that make significant changes to the nutritional panel: The first removes some required nutritional information and replaces it with newly required values while slightly changing the overall organization of the Nutrition Facts panel on food packaging; the second changes how manufacturers describe and calculate a “serving size” based on what an individual might actually consume.

Nutritional Musical Chairs

Since the Nutritional Panel on food packaging was last substantively changed in 1994, there have been significant advances in our understanding of human nutrition and how it affects our health. This understanding, combined with the rising rates of cardiovascular disease, stroke, obesity and other diet-related illnesses in the United States has prompted the FDA to make its first proposed rule change. This change involves the subtraction and addition of nutritional information to and from the nutritional panel, as well as subtle changes to its overall structure and appearance to facilitate these additions and subtractions. These changes are meant to highlight those nutritional values that are most important to consumers’ health.
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