FDA postpones deadline for Calorie Count Policy

FDA postpones deadline for Calorie Count Policy

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has agreed to the request of food industry to provide more time to comply with US rule for calories on food menus. The FDA has now provided an extra year to food retailers to feature detailed calorie counts on their menus.

The food retailers in the US now have time until December 1, 2016, to adhere to the US law for calories on food menus, meaning a year longer than the FDA initially proposed.

Since February, the FDA had been pressurized by groups such as the Food Marketing Institute, the National Association of Theater Owners, the American Beverage Association and Publix Super Markets to push back the deadline.

The FDA said that it is necessary to provide food retailers more time so that they can prepare themselves to accurately provide calorie information on their food menus.

The FDA made a rule in November last year, requiring chain restaurants, vending machines, grocery stores, coffee shops and other places to display calorie information on menus of food and drinks they sale directly to consumers. The rules were first proposed by the agency in 2011.

Public health experts have expressed worries over the FDA’s decision to postpone the implementation of the calorie rule, saying that it allows the food industry to continue lobbying to weaken them.

“This is a clear win for the restaurant lobbyists”, said Marion Nestle, a prominent nutrition expert and public health professor at New York University.

Calorie counts would be required under the rule to be displayed on regular food items, but not on daily specials.