Washington, D.C., June 13, 2017 – American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown issued the following comments on the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) announcement that it intends to extend the compliance date for the revised Nutrition Facts label:
“FDA’s decision to delay the food industry’s deadline to update and include the revised Nutrition Facts panel on their products is extremely disappointing, particularly because it comes on the heels of the FDA extending the menu labeling compliance deadline. The FDA must make empowering consumers to make accurately informed food choices their first priority. Rather, the FDA is putting industries’ concerns before the public’s health.
Consumers need this immensely valuable nutritional information to help them make better choices when it comes to what they eat and drink. We commend those food companies that are already using the new label, demonstrating that the new requirements are reasonable to implement. Consumers should not have to wait any longer to have the information they deserve to compare and select healthier options that can reduce their risk for cardiovascular disease—our nation’s no. 1 and most costly killer.
Delaying the updated Nutrition Facts deadline also hinders consumers’ ability to benefit from the latest nutrition guidance in their decision-making. The existing labels were first introduced over twenty years ago and diet and health information has evolved significantly since that time. The new version corrects this issue, and more prominently displays calorie counts and serving sizes, so that labels are easier to understand and plainly show exactly what products contain. The new label also alerts consumers to the amount of added sugars in their food for the first time – a huge step forward in helping Americans reduce their added sugars intake.
On behalf of consumers across the country, the association strongly urges the FDA to reconsider this extension, or at a minimum, make any delay as short as possible. The revisions to the Nutrition Facts panel not only benefit consumers, but are also essential to protecting the cardiovascular health of our nation.”
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