The U.S. Nutrition Labeling and Education Act specifically exempts raw agricultural commodities (including raw fruits and vegetables) from mandatory nutrition labeling requirements that apply to most foods in the general food supply in the United States. In place of mandatory nutrition labeling, the 20 most frequently consumed varieties of raw fruits and 20 most frequently consumed raw vegetables are subject to a voluntary program wherein retailers must provide nutrition labeling at the point of purchase.
This voluntary program is subject to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) evaluation every two years to determine substantial compliance at the retail level. All compliance checks conducted by FDA thus far have found compliance. If any subsequent evaluation reveals that substantial compliance no longer exists, FDA will propose rules for making nutrition labeling for fresh fruit and vegetables mandatory.
Although this is a voluntary program for produce marketers, when they use the nutrition facts box, they must use the formats allowed by FDA. And, there are specific occasions when produce must bear nutrition labeling, including whenever a marketer makes a nutrient content or health claim.
FDA released the long-awaited final rules on revisions to the Nutrition Facts label in the spring of 2016, and the change for all foods using the label in the United States both in terms of information content and physical layout. While the original compliance date for these new rules was July 26, 2018, FDA announced in September 2017 that it would extend the compliance dates to January 2020 or January 2021 based on manufacturer's annual food sales. Produce marketers can use the new label now or they can use the existing label.
Information on the changes can be found here.
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Please note that the Recommended Daily Value for Vitamin C has been increased by FDA from 60mg to 90mg, effective January 2020. FDA has also implemented changes to the calculation methods for Vitamin A under the new regulations. While FDA’s old regulations declared Vitamin A in terms of International Units, FDA’s new regulations base Vitamin A declaration on Retinol Activity Equivalents (RAE), pursuant to which 1 microgram RAE is equivalent to “1 microgram retinol, 2 microgram supplemental [beta]-carotene, 12 micrograms [beta]-carotene, or 24 micrograms [alpha]-carotene, or 24 micrograms [beta]-cryptoxanthin.” .The 2017 Nutritional Labeling Guide Appendix C has been updated on June 28, 2109 to remove the Optional Values: (per serving) as it was not updated to reflect the increased RDI for Vitamin C or the new calculations for Vitamin A.