If you work in an industry that uses food labels, you know the Food and Drug Administration has implemented changes in the nutrition labels you use on packaging. This marks the first time in almost two decades the FDA has made major changes to food nutrition labels. To stay complicit with the new guidelines, you must learn about the major changes affecting FDA food labels and implement them according to the new requirements.
The changes in nutrition labels emphasize the total number of calories in a food item. The calorie count now shows up larger than other information on the label. The number of servings per container also appears larger on the new labels. However, the "calories from fat" line has been removed.
Other changes include shifting the percent daily values to the left, making them easier to read. The new nutrition labels also require the amounts of vitamin D and potassium in foods. The FDA food labels no longer have to display the amounts of vitamins A and C. However, some package sizes must display both the “per serving” and “per package” calorie and nutrition counts under the new requirements.
The most prominent change on the new nutrition labels comes from the highlighting of sugar content in packaged foods. Labels now have to include information about added sugars to distinguish sugars that come from fruits rather than those that come from processing. In all, these changes aim to make the labels easier to read in addition to making the content of packaged foods clearer.
First Lady Michelle Obama promotes the new nutrition labels as part of her "Let's Move" campaign to reduce obesity. She claims that people have a hard time understanding the previous labels and proposes that the new labels help demystify the contents of packaged foods. Public health experts also applaud the changes as beneficial to the overall health of consumers.
While the new labels contain simple changes, you may have to consider the potential costs for your business. FDA deputy commissioner Michael Taylor estimates that these changes may cost the food industry about $2 billion but provide health benefits of about $30 billion. With consumers becoming ever more conscious about their foods, complying with these new changes may have benefits to your industry.
It helps to learn more about the new labels to see how they intend to benefit consumers. While these changes have costs involved for the food industry, they may also benefit companies that cater to the more health-conscious consumers. These new labels intend to improve consumers' understanding of what they eat, so the food industry must adjust to the new changes and learn to use the new labels to its benefit.
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