The US Food and Drug Administration has issued a 30-day procedural notice on its plans to conduct a study entitled “Quantitative Research on Front of Package Labeling on Packaged Foods.” The study is a follow up to focus groups conducted in 2022 to further explore consumer responses to various front-of-package labeling schemes. As part of the Paperwork Reduction Act, federal agencies are required to publish a notice in the Federal Register on each proposed information collection to give the public the opportunity to comment.
The FDA is conducting this consumer research to help explore the development of a front-of-package labeling scheme, which is part of the National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, issued as part of the White House Conference held in September 2022 focused on ending hunger and reducing diet-related disease. Front-of-package labeling is intended to complement the Nutrition Facts label on packaged foods by giving consumers additional context to help them identify healthier food selections. A standardized, science-based scheme could help consumers, particularly those with less nutrition knowledge, quickly and easily identify foods that can help them build a healthy eating pattern. The experiences of countries worldwide that have adopted front-of-package labeling suggest that such labeling may help nutrition comprehension and the ability to make healthier choices.
The U.S. continues to face an epidemic of diet-related chronic diseases, many of which are experienced disproportionately by racial and ethnic minority groups, those with lower socioeconomic status, and those living in rural areas. To help address this, the FDA is continuing to prioritize its nutrition activities to help empower consumers with nutrition information to identify healthier choices more easily. The consumer research the FDA is announcing today is intended to further inform our work in this important area.
The comment period opens June 15, 2023. Comments on the notice are due to OMB by July 17, 2023. To find this information collection, visit Docket No. FDA-2023-N-0155 on Regulations.gov and select “Currently Under Review – Open for Public Comments” or use the search function. See the Federal Register notice for additional information on commenting.
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