USDA proposes changes to Nutrition Facts Panel

by Erica Shaffer
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The changes for meat, poultry are aimed at providing updated nutrition information to consumers.

WASHINGTON – The US Dept. of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is proposing revisions to the Nutrition Facts Panel for meat and poultry products to better reflect the most recent scientific research and dietary recommendations and to improve the presentation of nutrition information.

The proposed revisions are parallel to changes made by the Food and Drug Administration’s final nutrition regulations which were published in May. Specifically, FSIS is proposing to:

  • Update the list of nutrients that are required or permitted to be declared;
  • Provide updated Daily Reference Values (DRVs) and Reference Daily Intake (RDI) values that are based on current dietary recommendations from consensus reports;
  • Amend the labeling requirements for foods represented or purported to be specifically for children under the age of 4 years and pregnant women and lactating women and establish nutrient reference values specifically for these population subgroups;
  • Revise the format and appearance of the Nutrition Facts label;
  • Amend the definition of a single-serving container;
  • Require dual-column labeling for certain containers;
  • Update and modify several reference amounts customarily consumed (RACCs or reference amounts); and
  • Consolidate the nutrition labeling regulations for meat and poultry products into a new Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part.

“This new rule will provide more transparency on nutrition labels so that American consumers can make informed decisions about the foods they eat and feed their families,” Alfred Almanza, deputy undersecretary for food safety, said in a statement. “The new nutrition facts panel will complement the many other proactive, prevention-based food policies that we've put in place in recent years.”

The full proposal is available on the FSIS website. Comments may be submitted for 60 days from the publication date.

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