WASHINGTON — The US Food and Drug Administration on Jan. 25 issued a 60-day procedural notice on its plans to conduct consumer research to explore developing a front-of-package labeling scheme for food.

The scheme is part of a national strategy from the White House conference on hunger, nutrition and health held last September. Front-of-package labeling would complement the Nutrition Facts Label on packaged foods. The FDA will explore the establishment of a standard, science-based scheme for front-of-package labeling that could help consumers identify foods that are part of a healthy eating pattern, according to the FDA.

The FDA in 2022 conducted a set of focus groups on front-of-package concepts and draft front-of-package schemes. Now the agency will test a smaller subset of front-of-package schemes. This controlled, randomized study will use a 15-minute, web-based questionnaire to collect information from 3,000 US adults.

The FDA also is seeking comments on ways to enhance the quality, usefulness and clarity of the information it plans to collect. Comments are due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. Comments may be submitted electronically to www.regulations.gov to Docket No. FDA 2023-N-0155. Written comments may be sent to the Dockets Management Staff (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. All submissions must include Docket No. FDA-2023-N-1055.

The FDA seeks comments on these topics:

  • whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the FDA’s functions, including whether the information will have practical utility;
  • the accuracy of the FDA’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;
  • ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and
  • ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques, when appropriate, and other forms of information technology.