While the natural products industry is appreciative of efforts to include the definition of natural for foods as well as exempt dietary supplements from rulemaking relating “natural” on the labeling of food, the natural industry already has to deal with biotech/GMO labeling and updates to the Nutrition and Supplement Facts panel. The compliance dates for these other labeling changes made through final rulemaking are still in flux at the moment.
Industry does not need yet another labeling change. It is FDA’s burden to first demonstrate that any labeling changes are material based up on empirical evidence collected through consumer research studies.
NPA has asked Congress to not support H.R. 5425, Senate companion bill S.2647, or any new food labeling changes unless there is empirical evidence warranting those changes and state pre-emption as part of the bills. HR 5425 and S. 2647 are overly burdensome to an industry already trying to adapt to labeling changes. Label changes represent a considerable cost to the industry as a whole each time a change is made to food labeling regulations but without any benefit to consumers unless consumer research studies suggest otherwise.