June 25, 2017

FDA Wants Info on Fiber on the Nutrition Facts Label

The FDA is providing more time for the public to comment on the fiber documents related to the Nutrition Facts Label. The label is being updated with new content, including serving size requirements based on what the reality of what people actually eat, and daily values for certain nutrients.

Food Labels

The original comment period was going to close on January 9, 2017. The FDA is also going to provide more time to comment on its draft guidance “Scientific Evaluation of the Evidence on the Beneficial Physiological Effects of Isolates or Synthetic Non-digestible Carbohydrates Submitted as a Citizen Petition.”

The FDA’s final rule that was published on May 27, 2016, required that only certain naturally occurring dietary fibers found in whole foods, and added isolated or synthetic fibers that FDA has found to have a physiological effect could be declared on the label.. Before this rule change, fibers in foods could be labeled as “dietary fiber” without providing beneficial physiological effects.

Groups such as United Egg Producers and the Grocery Manufacturers Association are filing comments on these topics. But most of the commons are from individual persons. Food industry is objecting to federal law that sets limits on the use of the word “healthy” on all food labels.

The FDA announced the new Nutrition Facts label on May 20, 2016. They want food labels to reflect the link between diet and chronic diseases such as obesity and heart disease. Other changes to be made include the addition of “added sugars,” the list of nutrients that are required will be increased, and “calories from fat” is being removed. The latter is happening because research shows that the type of fat a person eats is more important than the amount.

And daily values for sodium and vitamin D are being updated based on scientific evidence from the Institute of Medicine and other reports such as the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report. In addition, manufacturers will have to provide “dual column” labels on products that are larger than a single serving but that could be consumed in one sitting or multiple sittings.

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