Soon, all supplement products on the market should have an updated format and layout for their Supplement Facts label, the black and white box on products that describe the nutrition content per serving.
These changes are part of an FDA requirement first announced in May 2016. Among the changes are different Daily Values to reflect the latest nutrition science; a change of amount units from IUs to mg and mcg for vitamins A, D, and E; and the inclusion of folic acid (listed as folate) measured in mg of dietary equivalents.
“Our campaign is primarily intended to educate consumers about the supplement facts label changes,” Brian Wommack, senior vice president of communications at CRN told us.
“We saw a need. This is a major update to the labels, based on updated science and changing diets, and we know of no comprehensive effort to educate consumers about these changes.”
As part of the campaign, CRN has designed infographics (example below) and fact sheets explaining the different changes, as well as brief explanation of why those changes were put in place. Materials can be accessed on the website BeLabelWise.org.
A role for industry
The deadline for supplement companies to update their Supplement Facts label is January 1, 2020, for manufacturers with $10 million or more in annual sales, and January 1, 2021 for manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual sales.
In some of the campaign materials, CRN reminds consumers that some manufacturers will introduce the new labels well before these deadlines, “and because the compliance date is tied to the date the label is placed on the product, not shipping or presence on store shelves, old labels will appear for a while after these dates.”
Though the campaign is a consumer-facing one, CRN hopes that supplement manufacturers and other trade organizations will partake in spreading the word among consumers about these upcoming changes.
“We hope that they will share these campaign assets with their consumers as they make their label changes,” Wommack said.
All images courtesy of the Council for Responsible Nutrition.