FDA Extends ‘Healthy’ Labeling Comment Period

The new deadline to submit comments is February 16, 2023.

December 01, 2022

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is extending the comment period for the proposed rule, Food Labeling: Nutrient Content Claims; Definition of Term “Healthy,” that appeared in the Federal Register on September 29, 2022. The new deadline for comments is February 16, 2023. 

The FDA is extending the comment period by 50 days in response to a request from stakeholders to allow additional time for interested persons to develop and submit comments. Comments should be submitted to Regulations.gov and identified with the docket number FDA-2016-D-2335.

In late September, the FDA issued the proposed rule to update the definition of the nutrient content claim “healthy and make more foods that are part of a healthy dietary pattern and recommended by the Dietary Guidelines eligible to use the claim on their labeling, including nuts and seeds, higher fat fish (such as salmon), certain oils and water.

Under the proposed definition, to be labeled with the “healthy” claim on food packaging, the products would need to:

  • Contain a certain meaningful amount of food from at least one of the food groups or subgroups (e.g., fruit, vegetable, dairy, etc.) recommended by the Dietary Guidelines.
  • Adhere to specific limits for certain nutrients, such as saturated fat, sodium and added sugars. The threshold for the limits is based on a percent of the Daily Value (DV) for the nutrient and varies depending on the food and food group. The limit for sodium is 10% of the DV per serving (230 mg per serving).

The FDA is also researching a symbol that manufacturers could use on the front of the pack to show that their product meets the definition of the “healthy” claim. Having a standardized graphic to show that a food qualifies for the “healthy” claim would further support the FDA’s goal of helping consumers more easily identify packaged food products that help them build healthy eating patterns.