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Food labels to be updated

Posted by: admin at 3:36 pm on June 2nd, 2016

I know that the dietary guidelines are reviewed every five years, but I wonder when our food labels will change - they need to be updated!

Your comment is being voiced by thousands of others and is being heard in Washington. First, a few facts about the birth of the labeling act. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), The Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA) of 1990 gave FDA the authority to require nutrition labeling on foods. The objectives of the NLEA were to reduce consumer confusion about labels, help consumers make better food choices and encourage innovation by giving manufacturers an incentive to improve the nutrition profiles of foods. FDA issued final regulations for the Nutrition Facts label on Jan. 6, 1993. The rule was effective on May 8, 1994. FDA was required by the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 to also establish nutrition labeling requirements for dietary supplements. These were published in 1997 and became effective in 1999. The FDA is now proposing to update the nutrition facts labels on food packages after 20 years. The only change to the food label from its inception to now, was in 2006, when trans fats were added to the label. The FDA did extend an invitation to the public sector for comments, in particular, the use of terms such as "natural", back in November of 2015. I was honored to be invited, by a group in Washington, to participate with comments and suggestions of which I gladly accepted and I applaud the FDA for reaching out and asking for public opinion. According to the FDA, they have now listed the proposed changes to be considered for the proposed rules, and they are: modifications to the required nutrients, based on the latest nutrition science; updated serving size requirements and labeling requirements for certain package sizes and a new, refreshed design. Since Americans eat about one third of the calories away from home, according to the FDA, the FDA has finalized rules to menus, menu boards in chain restaurants and vending machines, all to become effective by the end of the year! Please keep sending me your comments and concerns  - I am listening and have avenues to pass it on!

Thought for the week: The happiest people don't have everything, they just make the best of everything!

Phylis B. Canion