Last April, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the delay of an Obama administration menu labeling rule requiring establishments that have 20 or more locations that serve warm food to display nutrition information for consumers. The agency has since announced its intent to implement and enforce the rule beginning in May 2018. NACCHO and local health departments have long been in favor of menu labeling as a way for people to make more informed choices about nutrition and hail the move forward nearly 8 years after menu labeling requirements were passed as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Later in the year, FDA announced in June that the agency would postpone the compliance deadline for the new rollout of the Nutrition Facts Label, which was originally scheduled for July 2018, and instead shelve enforcement of the rule to January 2020. The new label would mandate that packaged products display a increase in the valuation of a serving size for some products, display “calories”, “serving size”, and “servings per container” and add a new category for “added sugars.”
The FDA’s decision to delay the Nutrition facts rule’s implementation comes as a surprise to many as a number of food and beverage industries initially called for the rules’ alignment with forthcoming changes to the Department of Agriculture’s GMO disclosure rule expected to come before July 2018. USDA’s GMO disclosure rule is expected as a result of the 2016 passage of the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard Law (S.764) which authorized the agency to establish a national standard for how the presence of genetically modified foods and ingredients would be disclosed. A final rule is expected in July of this year.