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Front-of-Package Nutrition Labeling

Front-of-Package Nutrition Labeling

What's New

The FDA is adding a new section (“Legal Authority”) to this webpage in response to the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2024.

The FDA is prioritizing its nutrition initiatives, and one goal is to help ensure that consumers in the U.S. have greater access to nutrition information they can use to identify healthier food choices.  Improving eating patterns can, in turn, improve everyone’s health and wellness. The FDA has been conducting consumer research to explore the development of an FOP nutrition labeling scheme and meeting with a variety of stakeholders to hear their feedback and experiences with FOP labeling.  On November 16, 2023, the Reagan-Udall Foundation for the FDA hosted a public meeting on front-of-package labeling, and the FDA provided an overview of the initiative.

At the Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health on September 28, 2022, the White House released a National Strategy to end hunger and increase healthy eating and physical activity by 2030, so that fewer consumers experience diet-related diseases like type 2 diabetes, obesity and hypertension. The strategy includes several FDA initiatives to help accelerate efforts to empower consumers with information and create a healthier food supply. The National Strategy highlights that the FDA will conduct research and propose a standardized front-of-package (FOP) system for food packages to help consumers, particularly those with lower nutrition knowledge, quickly and easily identify foods that can help them build a healthy eating pattern.

FOP labeling would complement the Nutrition Facts label that is required on food packages by displaying simplified, at-a-glance nutrition information that gives consumers additional context to help them quickly and easily make more informed food selections. The Nutrition Facts label is typically on the back or side of food packages. Use of FOP nutrition labeling schemes has increased dramatically around the world in recent years.

Consumer Research

The FDA has been conducting consumer research to explore the development of a FOP nutrition labeling scheme and plans to issue a proposed rule for public comment. Below are links to data collections associated with the FOP consumer research. The experimental study is now undergoing peer review.

Legal Authority

As explained in the current “Front-of-Package Nutrition Labeling” entry of the Unified Agenda in the “Summary of the Legal Basis” section, in general, our legal authority rests on the 1990 Nutrition Labeling and Education Act, which gave the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (and, by delegation, the Commissioner of FDA) the authority to require that certain nutrition information be conveyed in a manner that allows the public to readily observe and comprehend such information and to understand its relative significance in the context of a total daily diet.  (Public Law 101-535, 104 Stat 2353, Sec. 2(b)(1)(A)) (21 U.S.C. 343 note).  Authority for certain aspects of front-of-package nutrition labeling may also be found in sections 403(q), 403(a)(1), and 201(n) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). In addition, section 701(a) of the FD&C Act authorizes the promulgation of regulations for the efficient enforcement of the FD&C Act. We intend to update the “Legal Authority” section of the “Front of Package Nutrition Labeling” entry for the Spring 2024 Unified Agenda with the corresponding statutory citations to reflect this information, including 21 U.S.C. 321; 21 U.S.C. 343; 21 U.S.C. 371.

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