This past week, the F.D.A announced major changes to the layout of food labels across the United States. Every major newspaper in the US covered the news, as it represents an important achievement for the millions of health-conscious Americans across the country, and at the same time almost a tragedy for the major food manufacturers.
The new label will show the calorie count in large type and bold numbers, as to make it more evident on the label. Serving sizes are updated to reflect the actual consumption, and all the daily values are updated as to reflect new scientific evidence and nutrition guidelines. This seems a well-needed change as the current labels reflect nutrition data from the 1970s.
Unsurprisingly, food manufacturers are not happy with the change of label, which will have to be enacted by 2018. For instance, the Sugar Association commented “we are concerned that the ruling sets a dangerous precedent that is not grounded in science, and could actually deter us from our shared goal of a healthier America.”
The F.D.A. move stems from a dangerous epidemic that has caused high rates of diabetes, as well as high risk of cancer and heart disease. The administration estimates that because of the current labels and products, Americans on average consume the equivalent of 20 teaspoons of added sugars in their diet.
As most media reported, the F.D.A estimated that “implementing the change will cost the food and beverage industry roughly $500 million a year.” On the other hand, the Administration is convinced that “by putting added sugars on the label, it creates incentives for industry to make healthier products, because they don’t want to look bad with all of that sugar on their label.”
Definitely a revolutionary change in the food and beverage business that will end up changing the business model of most producers, as well as hopefully increase the overall wellness of the average American consumer today.
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