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FDA Issues Proposed Rule on Front-of-Pack Calorie Disclosures Used for Vending Machine Labeling Compliance

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

(North American Meat Institute)

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing to revise the type size requirements for front-of-pack (FOP) calorie declarations to comply with the vending machine calorie labeling requirements. The proposed rule would require such calorie declarations to be at least 150 percent the size of the net quantity of contents statement. Currently, FOP calorie declarations are required to be 50 percent of the size of the largest printed matter on the label. The existing programs require FOP calorie declarations to appear in a type size ranging from 100 to 150 percent of the size of the net quantity of contents statement.

The proposed rule would apply only when the FOP calorie declaration is used to comply with the vending machine labeling rule, such as when consumers can view the packaged food through a glass-front vending machine. The vending machine labeling final rule requires vending machine operators that own or operate 20 or more vending machines (or that voluntarily register with FDA to be subject to the final rule) to provide calorie information for certain articles of food sold from vending machines.

FDA proposed a compliance date of January 1, 2020, for any final rule resulting from this rulemaking. In the meantime, pending completion of the rulemaking, the FDA will exercise enforcement discretion for products sold in glass-front vending machines that bear a FOP calorie disclosure, provided they comply with the “visible nutrition information” exemption requirements. FDA will accept public comments on the proposed rule through September 25, 2018. The law firm Hogan Lovells issued a memo summarizing the proposed rule.

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