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  1. Dietary Supplements Guidance Documents & Regulatory Information

Dietary Supplement Labeling Guide

April 2005

Contains Nonbinding Recommendations.

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Comments and suggestions regarding this document may be submitted at any time. Submit comments to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. All comments should be identified with the Docket Number 2004D-0487.

For questions regarding this document contact the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, at 240-402-2375.

This guidance represents the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) current thinking on the topic. It does not create or confer any rights for or on any person and does not operate to bind FDA or the public. You can use an alternative approach if the approach satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations.


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) receives many questions about the labeling of dietary supplements. These questions are a consequence of the activity in this area over the past several years. Some of the important events relating to the labeling of dietary supplements include:

  • The Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990 amended the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the act) in a number of important ways. Notably, by requiring that most foods, including dietary supplements, bear nutrition labeling.
  • The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (the DSHEA) amended the act, in part, by defining "dietary supplements," adding specific labeling requirements for dietary supplements, and providing for optional labeling statements.
  • On September 23, 1997 (62 FR 49826), we implemented the DSHEA by publishing several key regulations on the statement of identity, nutrition labeling, ingredient labeling, and nutrient content and health claims for dietary supplements. On June 5, 1998 (63 FR 30615), we amended the regulations pertaining to the nutrition labeling of extracts used in dietary supplements.
  • On January 15, 1997 (62 FR 2218), we published regulations that require a label warning statement on dietary supplements with added iron. These regulations also required the unit-dose packaging of supplements containing 30 milligrams or more, but this requirement has been eliminated as a result of a court challenge in January, 2003.
  • On July 11, 2003 (68 FR 41434), we published a final regulation that amended the labeling requirements for dietary supplements, as well as for conventional foods, that would make the declaration of trans fat mandatory in nutrition labeling. This regulation requires that, when present at 0.5 g or more, trans fat be listed in the Supplement Facts panel of dietary supplements on a separate line under the listing of saturated fat by January 1, 2006.

We have prepared this guide to help assure that the dietary supplements sold in the United Stated (U.S.) are properly labeled. This guide applies to dietary supplements produced domestically as well as those produced in foreign countries. Under our regulations, label approval is not required to import or distribute a dietary supplement.

We have included the most frequently raised questions about the labeling of dietary supplements using a "question and answer" format. If you have a question not addressed in this guide, please contact an FDA District Office (see Appendix A of this guide) or the:

Division of Dietary Supplement Programs (HFS-810)
Office of Nutritional Products, Labeling, and Dietary Supplements
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
Food and Drug Administration
5001 Campus Drive
College Park, MD 20740-3835

Please be advised that you must comply with any requirements for dietary supplements that may publish after this booklet is issued. New regulations are published in the Federal Register prior to their effective date and are compiled annually in Title 21, Part 101 of the Code of Federal Regulations (21 CFR 101). Summaries of our new regulations (proposed regulations and final regulations) are posted on our Internet Website (http://www.fda.gov).

FDA's guidance documents, including this guidance, do not establish legally enforceable responsibilities. Instead, guidances describe the agency's current thinking on a topic and should be viewed only as recommendations, unless specific regulatory or statutory requirements are cited. The use of the word "should" in agency guidances means that something is suggested or recommended, but not required.

April 2005

Table of Contents

  1. General Dietary Supplement Labeling
  2. Identity Statement
  3. Net Quantity of Contents
  4. Nutrition Labeling
  5. Ingredient Labeling
  6. Claims
  7. Pre-market Notification of New Dietary Ingredients
  8. Other Labeling Information


  1. FDA District Offices
  2. Daily Values for Adults and Children 4 or More Years of Age (also known as Food Labeling Guide Reference Values)
  3. Daily Values for Infants, Children Less Than 4 Years of Age, and Pregnant or Lactating Women
  4. Nutrient Content Claims (Includes Food Labeling Guide Appendix A and B)
  5. Authorized Health Claims (Includes Food Labeling Guide Appendix C and FDAMA claims)
  6. Qualified Health Claims


Alternate principal display panel Chapter I
"And/or" labeling of fat and oil ingredients Chapter V
Antioxidant claims Chapter VI
Artificial colors Chapter V
Artificial flavors Chapter V
Botanicals Chapter IV
Bulk containers Chapter IV
Chemical preservatives Chapter V
Common or usual name Chapters II and V
Conspicuousness Chapters I and III
Country of origin Chapter I
Daily Values Chapter IV
Definition of dietary supplements Chapter I
Degree of Prominence Chapter I and II
Descending order of predominance Chapter IV and V
Determining the net quantity Chapter III
Dietary ingredients Chapters I, II,IV, V, VI and VII
Different package sizes Chapter III
Disclaimer Chapter VI
Disclosure statements Chapter VI
Exemptions from nutrition labeling Chapter IV
Expiration dating Chapter I
Extracts Chapter IV
Folic acid Chapter VIII
Format of "Supplement Facts" panel Chapter IV
"Free" claims Chapter VI
"Good source" claims Chapter VI
Health claims Chapter VI
"High potency" claims Chapter VI
Incidental additives Chapter V
Information panel Chapter I
Ingredient list Chapter V
Iron-containing dietary supplements Chapter VIII
Juice Chapter VIII
Label statements Chapter I
Latin names Chapter IV
Name and address Chapter I
"Low" claims Chapter VI
Name of dietary supplement Chapter II
Natural flavors Chapter V
Net quantity of contents statement Chapter III
New dietary ingredient Chapter VII
New dietary supplements Chapter VII
Nomenclature Chapter IV
Notification for a claim Chapter VI
Nutrient content claims Chapter VI
Nutrition labeling Chapter IV
Nutrition labeling exemptions Chapter IV
Omega-3 fatty acids Chapter VI
Organic Chapter VIII
Other dietary ingredients Chapter IV
Ounces and grams Chapter III
Percent of Daily Value Chapter IV
Percentage claims Chapter VI
Placement of statement of identity Chapter II
Premarket notification Chapter VII
Principal display panel Chapter I and III
Prominence Chapters I
Proprietary blends Chapter IV
Section 403(r)(6) claims Chapter VI
Serving sizes Chapter IV
Small packages Chapter IV
Special labeling provisions Chapter VI
Statement of identity Chapter II
Structure/function claims Chapter VI
"Supplement Facts" Chapter IV
Trans fat Chapter IV
Type size Chapters I - VI
Warning statement about iron Chapter VI
Water Chapter V
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