Change of Plans: FDA Delays Deadline for Calorie-Labeling Rule



Back in November we told you guys about the Food and Drug Administration’s calorie-labeling rule that was set to go into effect this December, remember? If not, here’s a quick refresher: All food establishments with over 20 locations (chain restaurants, fast-food places, movie theaters, grocery stores, amusement parks, etc.) would be required to provide a calorie count for each product or meal on its menu. I don’t know about you, but personally, I think it’s awesome that we’ll all know exactly how much we’re consuming. I actually can’t wait for the rule to go into effect! But it looks like we’re all going to be waiting a little bit longer than expected.

Yesterday, Michael R. Taylor, FDA deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine, announced that the FDA will be pushing the menu labeling deadline back a full year — to December 1st, 2016. Why, you ask? Well, it turns out, the FDA has been dealing with pressure from big grocery stores and chains to give them more time to comply with this new rule.

Taylor stated in his announcement, “The FDA agrees additional time is necessary for the agency to provide further clarifying guidance to help facilitate efficient compliance across all covered businesses and for covered establishments to come into compliance with the final rule.”

He went on to say that, by this August, food establishments will be able to consult a document the FDA is putting together for guidance on how they need to rearrange their businesses and prepare to comply with the new rule. He also stated “the FDA will also provide educational and technical assistance for the covered businesses and for our state, local, and tribal regulatory partners to support reasonable and consistent compliance nationwide.”

So, we might have to wait another year, but with a little more communication and cooperation from both sides, it looks like it’ll all come together. Eventually.

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