Posted January 28, 2014
 
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will revise nutrition label standards, according to an article by the Washington Post available here.
 
The FDA says that knowledge about nutrition has evolved over the last 20 years, and the labels need to reflect the changes.
 
Michael Taylor, FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods, says 20 years ago “there was a big focus on fat, and fat undifferentiated.”  Trans fats were separated on the label in 2006.  Taylor said, “the food environment has changed and our dietary guidance has changed…It’s important to keep this updated so what is iconic doesn’t become a relic.”
 
FDA has sent guidelines for the new labels to the White House, but Taylor did not estimate when they would be released. 
 
According to a recent studyby USDA, a greater percentage of adults are using the nutrition facts panel and other claims on food packages “always or most of the time.”  The study shows that 42 percent of working adults “used the panel always or most of the time,” while 57 percent of older adults used it most or all of the time while making nutrition decisions during 2009 and 2010.
 
The Center for the Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) gave the FDA its “wish list” for the new labels, according to CNN here.  It suggested a label that emphasizes calorie counts, in bigger or bolder font or highlighted in some way.  The CSPI would also like the ingredient list to be more prominent.
 
The American Heart Association would like the labels to show added sugar, because studies show “many Americans eat more sugar than they realize.”

 

For more information on food labeling, please visit the National Agricultural Law Center’s website here.