Food makers have received an extension on meeting requirements for updated nutrition and serving size information on product labels, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.
The compliance dates have been extended from July 26, 2018 to Jan. 1, 2020 for manufacturers with $10 million or more in annual food sales, and from July 26, 2019 to Jan. 1, 2021 for manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales.
The final rules for the new labeling requirements were published on May 27, 2016.
"This extension on the Nutrition Facts label regulation will help ensure that we provide the food industry with guidance to help them modernize their Nutrition Facts labels and that industry has sufficient time to complete and print updated Nutrition Facts labels," FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in an agency news release.
"It's crucial that we provide clear expectations so that industry can meet them. It's just as important for consumers to be able to effectively use the updated food labels, and we're launching a major educational campaign for consumers to help them better understand the new nutrition information that they'll be seeing in the marketplace," Gottlieb said.
The new nutrition information is meant to reflect current scientific knowledge, including the link between diet and chronic diseases such as obesity and heart disease, according to the FDA.
It's also meant to make it easier for consumers to be better-informed when choosing foods. For example, the new rule requires that "added sugars" be declared and updates the list of important vitamins and minerals.
The serving size final rule will more accurately reflect what people actually eat and drink and include new labeling requirements for certain size packages, according to the FDA.