The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released proposed changes to “Nutrition Facts” labels and corresponding rules on serving sizes for packaged foods, including dairy. The proposed changes affect all packaged foods except certain meat, poultry and processed egg products, which are regulated by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.
“The proposed nutrition label and serving-size changes have huge implications for the dairy industry beyond the required nutrient declaration changes. They will also result in the need for some products that use nutrition claims such as “low-fat” or “fat-fee” to reformulate to meet the claims based on changed serving sizes,” said Cary Frye, International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) vice president for regulatory and scientific affairs.
|click image to zoomProposed nutrition label||click image to zoomCurrent nutrition facts|
Among other changes, the proposal calls for a more prominent display of the calorie declaration and modified servings per container, along with a new declaration for added sugars. The proposed changes would affect nearly all packaged foods, including all milk and dairy products sold at retail.
The recommended Daily Value (DV) for calcium would increase from 1,000 mg to 1,300 mg, and milk would still qualify as an “excellent source.” Also, the DV for sodium would decrease modestly from 2,400 to 2,300 mg, and the DV for protein remains unchanged, so most dairy products can still make claims about the “good source of protein.”
Serving sizes for milk would remain the same at one cup, and cheese would stay at one ounce. The serving size for yogurts would decrease from eight ounces to six ounces, which is the most common size sold at retail. Based on a recent government consumption survey finding that the average amount of ice cream consumed is 0.875 cup, FDA proposed doubling the serving size for ice cream from one-half cup to one cup.
Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), representing 32,000 dairy farmers, said the organization was “open to improvements that will help conumers make informed choices.”
“We applaud the provision to highlight a food’s dietary contribution of potassium and vitamin D – two nutrients most Americans are not consuming enough of,” Mulhern said. “Milk is a great source of those, as well as two other key nutrients, calcium and protein, that are already highlighted on the current nutrition facts panel. This change will help consumers better understand the important role that dairy plays in a healthy diet.