FDA announces form of enforcement discretion for first six months after new nutrition labeling rule compliance date

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) updated its “Industry Resources on the Changes to the Nutrition Facts Label” webpage questions and answers, stating that the agency does not intend to take enforcement actions related to the new nutrition labeling requirements for the first six months following the January 1, 2020 compliance date for businesses with more than $10 million in annual food sales. FDA explains that it has received several requests for additional time to comply with the new nutrition labeling requirements, and accordingly intends to work cooperatively with industry for the first 6 months following the compliance date:

I understand that the FDA has received multiple requests from manufacturers to provide additional time to comply with the new requirements. Do I still have to meet the January 1, 2020, compliance date?

The FDA has heard from several manufacturers and groups that more time may be needed to meet all of the requirements. Therefore, during the first 6 months following the January 1, 2020, compliance date, FDA plans to work cooperatively with manufacturers to meet the new Nutrition Facts label requirements and will not focus on enforcement actions regarding these requirements during that time.

The agency statement provides the industry with much-needed flexibility to facilitate a seamless transition to the new labels. We would encourage companies to maintain their diligence in transitioning to the new labels so that the entire inventory will be transitioned during the first six months of 2020. We will continue to monitor the FDA’s implementation of the new nutrition labeling requirements. If you have questions on this or any other matter, please contact us.

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