The Sugar Association, which describes itself as "the scientific voice of the U.S. sugar industry," petitioned the FDA on Wednesday to require clearer labeling of foods that contain alternative low- and no-calorie sweeteners. The FDA has six months to respond to the petition.
To facilitate the distribution of food during the coronavirus pandemic, restaurants and food manufacturers will be temporarily allowed to sell packages of food that lack the Nutrition Facts label normally required for retail sale, said the FDA on Thursday. (No paywall)
It won’t be official for months, but FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb outlined on Thursday a solution to a food-labeling issue that had honey producers buzzing and had tapped the ire of the maple syrup industry.
Maine Rep. Chellie Pingree said the FDA will take a second look at how it will identify pure honey and maple syrup on the updated Nutrition Facts label.
Food makers would be allowed to use a circular logo with the initials “BE” to identify foods made with GMO ingredients under a labeling rule proposed by the USDA.
The Democratic leader on the Senate Health Committee wrote FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb to complain of an unreasonable delay in updating the Nutrition Facts label that appears on every package of food.
The FDA plans to delay the debut of the updated Nutrition Facts label to Jan. 1, 2020, some 43 months after the Obama administration unveiled the first overhaul of the label in 20 years. The agency said it acted "in response to the continued concern that companies and trade associations have shared with us regarding the time needed for implementation of the final rules."
After 44 years as president of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Michael Jacobson is stepping down. During his long tenure, Jacobson not only helped develop nutrition labels, he “has also had a hand in halting the marketing of many sugar-filled foods to children, reducing salt levels in packaged foods, and banning transfats,” says NPR.
The director or co-director of the consumer group Center for Science in the Public Interest for 45 years, Michael Jacobson, 73, will change jobs next September to become CSPI's chief scientist. Jacobson was active in campaigns to put the Nutrition Facts label on packaged foods, to eliminate trans fats from processed foods and to force the government to set guidelines on salt in food.
The FDA called on foodmakers and restaurateurs to reduce sharply the amount of salt in their products to help Americans avoid high blood pressure and the risk of chronic illness. The food industry balked, saying it already has low-salt products on sale and that the science on healthy salt levels was not as clear as the government says.
The updated Nutrition Facts label "is going to make a real difference in providing families across the country the information they need to make healthy choices," said First Lady Michelle Obama. The new label, to be in full use by July 2018, prominently lists the number of calories in a serving, expands serving sizes in line with U.S. eating patterns, and for the first time shows how many grams of sugar are added to foods during processing.
In "yet another fight over Obamacare," the House passed a bill "to weaken an Obama administration regulation to require nutrition information on restaurant menus," reports The Hill newspaper.
The government proposed that the Nutrition Facts label should say what percentage an item would provide of the recommended daily amount of added sugar to the diet.
The FDA said it would give restaurants an additional year, until Dec. 1, 2016, to comply with a requirement that they list calorie counts on menus and menu boards.
Foodmakers will have three years to phase out the use of partially hydrogenated oils, the primary source of artificial trans fats, said the Food and Drug Administration. The agency said "a thorough review of the scientific evidence" showed the materials should not be part of the diet. The agency tentatively ruled in 2013 that artificial trans fats should be banned. It said it finalized that determination after considering public comments on the issue.
Restaurants would not have to put calorie counts on their menus until late 2017 under a bill approved by the House Appropriations Committee and cleared for floor action. The $143.9 billion USDA-FDA funding bill also delays for one year enforcement of a requirement in the 2014 farm law that farmers practice soil and water conservation in order to qualify for federally subsidized crop insurance.
Harvest of soft white wheat is under way in northeastern Oregon and a grain merchandiser in Pendleton says yields are down 10 to 15 percent because of hot, dry weather, says Capital Press. “The overall quality of the crop is going to be fine, there’s just not going to be a lot of it,” Dan Steiner, senior grain merchandiser at Pendleton Grain Growers, told the newspaper.
Foodmakers are in "a lobbying frenzy" over the administration's proposal to have the Nutrition Facts label on food packages include how much sugar was added during processing, reports the Los Angeles Times.