Healthy’ Labeling Comment Period Prolonged till April 26, 2017

Speculations indicating that the FDA’s request for feedback period extension may face serious trouble under Trump’s administration.

The Federal Register’s September 28, 2016, an issue covered the initial information about ‘healthy’ labeling of human food products. As per the sources, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was supposed to comment on the term ‘healthy’ in terms of the nutrient content claim in the food labeling context, in a 120-day comment period i.e. on January 26, 2017.

US FDA Requests Extension by 90 Days for Collecting Adequate & Legitimate Comments

However, since the recent past as seen various controversies regarding the use of a ‘healthy’ label, FDA recently announced to have extended the comment period on April 26, 2017, in order to receive sufficient information and comment about the usage of the term ‘healthy’ on food labels. The Federal Register’s December 30, 2016, issue covered the notice of FDA’s extension of the comment period on ‘healthy’ labeling of human food products.

On December 29, FDA confirmed to have received several requests to extend the defined 120-day feedback period, as according to available resources, the desired period was inadequate for developing thoughtful and meaningful comments related to the usage of the word ‘healthy’ on food packaging. In addition, a number of issues and questions presented in the notice were stated to be challenging to address, answer, and resolve within a short span of time, as per the concerned FDI authorizes.

While FDI has taken all the requests regarding the feedback period into consideration, it is believed that an additional 90-day extension of the period will enable more interested personnel to drop in their comments. FDA also requested question-specific comments in the notice. This will reportedly allow FDA as well as consumers to think on whether or not the government should redefine the term ‘healthy’ printed on packaged food labels across the nation.

According to renowned food, nutrition, and public health experts, a collection of never-ending comments which is currently gaining a moment can be a big issue in terms of administration sooner or later. This entire issue will soon be escalated to the incoming Trump administration, with an already longer review period for the whole scenario and it is too early to predict how the new administration will address it.

Reports have quoted the new president-elect Donald Trump referring to the FDA as ‘food police’ and indicating his dislike toward the FDA’s approach to everything they do is always quite convenient according to his views. Thus, is has created a dense controversy that this extension of the comment period by FDA could result in some new reforms, considering how the government deals with the existing food and labeling guidelines.


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