Earlier this week the FDA unveiled its four-year plan to meet seven strategic program goals by 2016.

The plan calls out the increasing challenges of the FDA’s food safety, nutrition, and animal health activities, while globalization, advances in science and technology, and shifts in consumer expectations drive change in the food and drug marketplaces.

Two of the plan’s seven goals are of special interest to food marketers and advertisers.

Program Goal Four seeks to increase the accuracy and usefulness of nutritional data provided to consumers in order to reduce the risk of chronic disease and obesity. Among specific measures called out in the goal are:

  • updating the nutrition facts label, including potentially giving greater prominence to calorie declarations and front-of-package nutrition labeling;
  • updating how serving size information, daily values and key nutrients are communicated;
  • implementing point-of-purchase labeling regulations for restaurant menus and vending machines; and
  • publication of a final rule on the use of the term “gluten-free.”

Program Goal Five encourages reformulation of food products to provide healthier choices and ensure the safe production of dietary supplements. Among specific measures called out in the goal are:

  • encouraging the food industry to reduce the amount of sodium included in packaged foods and served in restaurants;
  • reducing industrially-produced trans fats in the food supply; and
  • developing and implementing strategic, risk‐based compliance and regulatory strategies to address dietary supplement safety issues and to advance pre-market oversight and post-market surveillance of dietary supplements.