Are there specific requirements for labeling of dietary supplement products?
The FDA has very stringent and complex requirements for labeling (and advertising) of dietary supplement products. Most important is that the FDA requires a “Supplements Facts” panel on all dietary supplement products. Although dietary supplements are generally classified as foods, they are required to have a “Supplements Facts” panel rather than the “Nutrition Facts” label required on conventional foods. The FDA’s “How to Understand and Use the Nutrition Facts Label” web page has information that also applies to Supplement Facts panels. A dietary supplement product label should answer the following questions:
- What is the name of the product?
- How much product is in the package?
- Who made/packed/distributed it?
- What ingredients are in it?
- What is the nutritional content?
The last two questions are answered by the Supplement Facts panel, which must identify ALL ingredients contained in the product and their amounts. However, some of the ingredients may be part of a mixture of ingredients, otherwise known as "proprietary blend", “blend” or “delivery system.” In this case only the total amount of the mixture of ingredients is required.