If you were hoping for more accurate nutrition labels on everything from ice cream to breakfast cereal, you're going to have to wait a little longer.
Changes to the new nutritional food label include the calorie count and serving size shown more prominently and more detail about added sugar and updated recommended daily intake values.
It's the latest in a series of food labeling delays expected under the Trump Administration.
Originally, large companies had been given until July 2018 to comply with the new label, and at least one food giant, Mars Inc., has said it could be ready to meet that deadline. "As with its delay of menu labeling, the FDA will end up denying consumers critical information they need to make healthy food choices in a timely manner and will throw the food industry into disarray", said Jim O'Hara, CSPI's director of health promotion policy.
The FDA said it would provide details on the extension at a later date.
Issues included, among other things, "the need for upgrades to labeling software, getting nutrition information from suppliers, the number of products that would need new labels, and a limited time for the reformulation of products", said FDA spokesperson Deborah Kotz.
"If some food labels change and others do not, it will make it more hard for consumers to compare foods and make a healthier choice", said Stein, who's a nutrition support dietitian at NYU Winthrop Hospital in Mineola, N.Y.
In a statement, the Grocery Manufacturers Association said food and beverage companies want to help people make informed choices, but that the "fast-approaching compliance deadline" was hard to meet without final guidance from the FDA on certain details.
"FDA's common-sense decision will reduce consumer confusion and costs", President Pamela Bailey said. Last month, the FDA delayed a rule requiring chain restaurants, grocery and convenience stores and other food retailers to post calorie counts for prepared food and beverages on its menu.
The rule, which had been championed by former first lady Michelle Obama, had been scheduled to go into effect on July 26, 2018. A week later, the Department of Agriculture loosened the minimum requirements for the amount of whole grain in school lunches and delayed future sodium reductions.
Despite the extended deadline, CPSI notes that some companies have recognized that consumers want the new information and are already putting updated labels on products.