First Lady And Nutrition: USDA And FDA Propose Sweeping Food Labeling And Marketing Regulations


Today, First Lady Michelle Obama and the Food and Drug Administration released two long-awaited proposed regulations that would for the first time in 20 years make significant changes to the nutrition information found on food and dietary supplement labels. 

The proposals would make a number of changes to update the Nutrition Facts Label, including:

  • require information on the amount of “added sugars” in a product
  • update serving size requirements to more accurately reflect consumption
  • emphasize certain label elements, such as calories and serving sizes and
  • present dual column labels to indicate both “per serving” and “per package” for larger packages of food that could be consumed in multiple settings

The proposed regulations will be subject to a 90-day comment period after publication in the Federal Register.

In addition, on February 25, the First Lady and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) unveiled a proposed regulation that would prohibit the marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to children in schools. 

The proposal stems from the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which directed the USDA to establish guidelines for what should be included in school wellness policies. 

In addition to placing certain limits on the marketing of food and beverages in schools, the proposed rule would:

  • establish the framework for the content of local school wellness policies
  • ensure stakeholder participation in the development of school wellness policies and
  • require a periodic assessment of compliance and reports on progress toward satisfying wellness policy goals. 

The proposed regulation will be subject to a 60-day comment period after publication in the Federal Register.  

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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