Statement of CSPI Health Promotion Policy Director Jim O’Hara

More than 40,000 Americans have filed comments with the Food and Drug Administration opposing its proposal to delay Nutrition Facts labels until 2020 for large companies and 2021 for small companies.

The agency’s proposal to delay the long-awaited updates was a mistake.  First of all, the FDA’s delay is keeping disease-preventing information out of the hands of consumers.  Updated and realistic serving sizes, plus a new line and Daily Value for added sugars, will help Americans make their own healthy choices and reduce their risk of heart disease, diabetes, weight gain, and other health problems.

Second, it is unfair to the companies that have responsibly prepared for and invested in meeting the original compliance deadlines of July 2018 and July 2019.  After all, the final rule was published in May 2016. 

Finally, the delay is wreaking havoc in the supermarket.  Already, more than 8,000 products bear the updated label, and more will with each passing day.  Consumers will be left confused trying to compare products with different formats and information.  

We hope the agency listens to the tens of thousands of Americans who oppose the delay, and not the complaining companies who find it inconvenient to comply in a timely manner with these sensible and science-based regulations.