Today, the US Food and Drug Administration finalized its design overhaul of the nutrition facts label, a major change to health information provided on Americans’ food packaging.
The new label isn’t completely unrecognizable, but there are a few notable tweaks. Most significantly, a new “added sugars” section will be required, over the objections of the sugar industry. Manufacturers will now be required to say how much sugar was included during processing, separating it from the amount of naturally occurring sugars.
The calorie count on the new label is significantly larger, as is the serving size. Vitamin D and potassium will now be added to the label, while Vitamins A and C will be dropped. “In the early 1990’s, American diets lacked Vitamins A and C, but now Vitamins A and C deficiencies in the general population are rare,” the FDA says. “Manufacturers are still able to list these vitamins voluntarily.”
The classic footnote description of Percent Daily Values is also getting a minor change for clarity. “The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet,” the new note reads. “2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.”
Food manufacturers have until July 2018 to comply with the new regulations. Smaller manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales have until 2019.