Speaking of federal extensions, further review of the omnibus spending bill passed by Congress a few days before Christmas reveals that the compliance date for federal menu-labeling regulations was extended by the law.  Originally, the rules were set to take effect on December 1, 2016, but language in the spending bill provides that compliance with menu-labeling regulations will not be required until one year after the Food and Drug Administration issues its final guidance on the subject.  The FDA, which issued a draft guidance on the ACA-mandated labeling for public review and comment back in September of 2015, has yet to announce when they would expect to release the final version.  On another labeling matter – that being the use of the term “natural” in labeling of human food products – the FDA extended the deadline for comment by an additional 90 days.  The previous deadline for comment was February 10, but with the latest FDA extension this week, public comments will now be welcomed until May 10.  Currently, the FDA considers the term “natural” to indicate that nothing artificial or synthetic has been added to the food.  Electronic comments on the issue can be submitted at www.regulations.gov.