FDA delays rolling out new nutrition facts label

A view shows the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland August 14, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed/File Photo

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Food & Drug Administration on Tuesday delayed indefinitely implementation of a new nutrition facts label that would enlarge calorie counts, itemize added sugar and bring serving sizes in line with actual average portions.

The rule, which had been championed by former first lady Michelle Obama, had been scheduled to go into effect on July 26, 2018.

In a statement on its website, the FDA said additional time would “provide manufacturers covered by the rule with the necessary guidance from FDA.”

The agency did not say how much additional time companies would be given, or when it would announce the time frame, saying only it would make an announcement “at a later time.”

Big food lobbying groups have been pushing for months to delay the roll-out. Last month the FDA delayed by a year a rule requiring restaurants and retailers to display food calorie counts, extending the deadline for compliance from May 5, 2017 to May 7, 2018.

President Donald Trump has pledged to cut FDA regulations across the board. Other regulations the FDA could revisit include the so-called tobacco “deeming” regulations which give the FDA the authority to regulate e-cigarettes.

Reporting by Caroline Humer, Toni Clarke and Chris Prentice; Editing by Richard Chang and Marguerita Choy