Will The FDA Enforce Its New Nutrition Labeling Rule? 

Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP
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Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP

On September 18, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced additional flexibility for manufacturers to comply with the agency’s updated Nutrition and Supplement Facts labeling requirements. Those requirements go into effect on January 1, 2021. 

The Nutrition and Supplement Facts labeling requirement marks a significant change in requirements for conventional foods and dietary supplements to provide updated nutrition information on the label to assist consumers in maintaining healthy dietary practices. The final rule updates the list of nutrients that are required or permitted to be declared; provides updated Daily Reference Values and Reference Daily Intake values that are based on current dietary recommendations from consensus reports; amends requirements for foods represented or purported to be specifically for children under the age of 4 years and pregnant and lactating women and establishes nutrient reference values specifically for these population subgroups; and revises the format and appearance of the Nutrition Facts label.

Although the January 1, 2021 compliance date will still technically be in effect, the FDA has announced that it will not focus on enforcement actions during 2021 for smaller food manufacturers with less under $10 million in annual food sales.

The FDA stated that its policy was in response to manufacturers requesting more time to meet all of the requirements in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Nutrition and Supplement Facts labeling requirements went into effect for large manufacturers (with sales over $10 million) on January 1, 2020. That year, the FDA also announced that it would not focus on enforcement actions against those companies in 2020.

The compliance date has changed multiple times. Initially, the compliance date was July 26, 2018, for manufacturers with $10 million or more in annual food sales and July 26, 2019, for manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales.

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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