Misleading Food Labels – FDA Working on a More Stringent Regulation

  • Date: March 23, 2010
  • Source: Admin
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FDA is gearing up to launch a "three-pronged initiative" which ensures a better oversight of food labeling. Other than a better oversight, the initiative will include moving food-ingredient information to the front of the package -- instead of burying it on the back -- and amending "serving size" amounts to reflect real-world eating practices, said agency spokeswoman Siobhan DeLancey.

On March 3, the FDA issued warning letters against 17 manufacturers for misleading labeling of their 22 products. They mentioned that these 17 companies violated federal regulations by mentioning "unauthorized health claims, unauthorized nutrient content claims, and the unauthorized use of terms such as 'healthy.'"The companies were given 15 days to outline how they would correct the violations.

According to Siobhan DeLancey, an FDA spokesperson "We had noticed a real proliferation of these front-of-package symbols, and noticed that there were a lot of different ones …And there didn't seem to be any rule of thumb or real consistency for consumers to be able to depend on."

Misleading Food Labeling and Increasing Anarchy in American Society

In recent times, misleading food label is creating anarchy in the lives of the Americans as it is causing a growing problem of obesity, diabetes and heart diseases in America. Foods claiming to be full of healthfulness are often end up being reasons of severe diseases.

Day by day, incessant rates of false claims of the food producing companies and confusing nutritional information are leaving Americans befuddled at the grocery and are making them dependent on advertising for food purchase and consumption decisions.

Faulty Food Labeling - Findings

  • In a report published in January 29 reduced-calorie restaurant and packaged foods found were revealed to have an average 18 percent more calories than was stated on labels or menus. In addition, 10 frozen meals purchased from supermarkets were measured and found to have averaged 8 percent more calories than stated on the label.
  • Two New York high school students found in DNA studies that at least 16% products in their own kitchen has come with misleading or wrong labels.
  • Study released in 2009, reveals that about 2% of food products without a "may contain" warning actually do contain allergens, which can be lethal to some people.

All these findings make FDA come up with a more stringent regulation of labeling. The FDA is currently in the middle of the review process, in which it is evaluating existing and proposed labeling schemes for accuracy, and also conducting surveys of consumers to find out their want from such schemes.

In an interview to LiveScience, DeLancey said "what consumers are going to find the most useful and that's actually going to give them accurate information."


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