- The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service has proposed changes to the Nutrition Facts panel, particularly for meat and poultry products that fall under the organization's purview, Meat + Poultry reported.
- The proposed revisions are "parallel" to changes that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration made to final nutrition regulations, which the agency published in May, according to Meat + Poultry.
- The USDA's revision proposals are varied but include updating the nutrients meat processors have to declare, aligning Daily Reference Values with more updated research and revising the format of the panel itself.
The agency is recommending changes to the Nutrition Facts panel at the same time the industry is pushing to delay the implementation deadline for the panel updates. One organization, the Food & Beverage Issue Alliance, specifically requested that the Obama administration align the compliance deadlines for the Nutrition Facts panel with USDA's GMO labeling rules.
That alignment could help manufacturers struggling with the label updates that are to come following these and other food-related regulations, such as FSMA. By keeping the parameters and timelines similar for different regulations, manufacturers can save time and money on the new labels the company would have to print to suffice those regulations as they each came up.
While the specifics of the agency's requests are varied, FSIS is primarily concerned with ensuring these guidelines are based on the most recent scientific research. That point is key for the food industry today, as companies have battled with the FDA and in courtrooms over terms like "natural" and "healthy."