Food label regulations have been temporarily loosened by the FDA in response to supply disruptions reported by the food industry. What does this mean for consumers?
Importantly, consumers should know that food manufacturers are allowed to make formulation changes, including omissions or substitutions, of ‘minor’ ingredients without making note of those changes on the label. There is a caveat that the stand-in ingredient must “not cause any adverse health effect (including food allergens, gluten, sulfites or other ingredients known to cause sensitivities in some people, for example, glutamates).” However, it will not cover all possible food sensitivities (such as spices and vegetables) as only some are recognized by the FDA for food labeling purposes. There are numerous loopholes that are of concern to those in food allergy communities.
For vending machines, of which there are 4 million in the United States, calorie information is no longer required to be provided.