FDA Closing in on Changes to Nutrition Label

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WholeFoods Magazine Staff
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The long awaited revision of the Nutrition Facts panel seems near, as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has sent proposed guidelines for new labels to the White House, the AP reported. The agency has been promising to propose new regulations for some time, as calls to bring the panel up to date with the current concerns of nutritionists have continued.

Though FDA has been reluctant to reveal exactly what changes should be expected, most agree that a shift in focus from fat content to calories is in order. The number of calories in a food product should be displayed more prominently on the label, perhaps on the front of packages, nutritionists say. The amount of added sugar should also be conveyed, they say, and some have called for FDA to require added sugars that aren’t naturally occurring in the food to be listed by name.

The agency may also choose to refine the way serving size is used to present nutritional content. Currently, some labels list nutritional totals for categories like carbohydrates and sugar based on the whole container, while others refer to the amount in one serving, and this can often be deceptive to consumers.

Another change that could be in store is a requirement to disclose the actual percentage of whole wheat content, instead of simply claiming that a product contains whole wheat.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, March 2014