WASHINGTON — Due to changes in the American diet and updates in nutrition science, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandated new label requirements for foods and dietary supplements. The label changes, ranging from measuring folic acid in micrograms of dietary folate equivalents (DFEs) to including added sugar and its percentage of daily value, were presented by Paula Trumbo, independent consultant, EAS Consulting Group, and former acting director, Nutrition Programs Staff, Office of Nutrition and Food Labeling, CFSAN, at last week’s Dietary Supplement Caucus (DSC) luncheon briefing.
Modernizing food and dietary supplement labels is in the best interest of consumers and industry alike. For dietary supplement consumers in particular, supplement facts labels serve as a trusted source of information and provide a consistent way to comprehend a supplement’s nutrient content. For the dietary supplement industry, changing label requirements is an important regulatory action that needs to be adhered to; a lack of compliance can result in FDA enforcement action.
The nearly 40 attendees viewed examples of efforts to educate consumers on the label changes, including Label Wise, an initiative aimed at educating consumers of the upcoming changes to the supplement facts label. When talking to either constituents or consumers in general, attendees were encouraged to utilize the toolkit of materials available on the Label Wise website (www.BeLabelWise.org).
The educational event, held on July 18, was sponsored by the bipartisan, bicameral Dietary Supplement Caucus with help from trade associations representing the dietary supplement industry — the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the Natural Products Association (NPA), and the United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA).