U.S – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has filed a Request for Information (RFI) to find out more about the information offered on product labels through online grocery shopping platforms.

At the FDA’s New Era E-Commerce Summit in October 2021, FDA highlighted the labeling of grocery products sold online and opened a public docket for comments.

The FDA is seeking input from stakeholders on the food labeling data provided by online grocery shopping platforms by publishing the current RFI.

The RFI is a component of the Biden-Harris Administration’s National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, which aims to provide a roadmap of steps the federal government is taking to end hunger and reduce diet-related diseases while reducing disparities by 2030, according to a corresponding Constituent Update from FDA.

It notes that these objectives can be met in part by ensuring that customers have internet access to information on food labels, which can assist them in making smarter and healthier food choices.

In a “Dear Manufacturer” letter that was released by the FDA in 2007, the agency stated that, in some cases, information put online by or on behalf of a regulated entity satisfies the FDCA’s definition of “labeling” and is thus subject to FDCA regulations.

The FDA advised manufacturers or distributors to make sure that any claims they make or label information they provide online complies with FDA regulations.

In the RFI, the FDA notes that while many online grocery platforms post certain label information online, there may be variations in the how, where, and what information is shown across various online platforms and online grocery companies.

Additionally, the FDA warns that there might be discrepancies between the data on packaged food labels and that which is accessible online, including variations in nutrient values and formatting.

Contributions will assist the agency in enhancing consumer access to uniform and accurate labeling information for packaged foods sold online.

The FDA is inquiring of interested parties about the availability of ingredients, major food allergens, and nutrition labeling information on online grocery shopping platforms.

It is curious to know how the food labeling information is presented and whether there are any difficulties in providing accurate and consistent labeling information online from businesses, consumer advocacy organizations, and consumers.

The regulator requests interested parties to submit written or electronic comments within 90 days of the RFI’s publication in the Federal Register in order to ensure that their opinions are taken into account. The RFI concerns food labeling in online grocery shopping.

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