Packaged Food Nutritional Data to be Placed on Front-Packaging?

The latest word from the NY Times is that the Food and Drug Administration is making some effort to develop guidelines for the information that appears on the front of food packaging. Details on the labeling system were not clear, neither were any specifics regarding how obtrusive these “warnings” would be. It’s still up in the air whether they are discussing complete nutritional information to be placed on the front of packages, or if it would be simple highlights of key facts and ingredients (calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, so forth).

A quote in the article from the F.D.A. said that, “Our hope is that the industry will develop a label that aids in consumer understanding and helps parents and other shoppers easily identify and select products that contribute to a healthy diet.

What questions does this project by the F.D.A. raise? The first that question that comes to mind is: if this entire initiative comes to fruition, are we going to be looking at different levels/warnings of “unhealthiness” stamped onto our favorite food packages? Imagine a rating system akin to the MPAA for movies, following a G-rating for veggies, PG-for light snacks and cereals, PG-13 for those candies and an R for those pieces of fried chicken in the freezer aisle. Fun to think about, although understandably far-fetched. We’ll provide more information on this labeling initiative as it becomes available.

*Picture note: The photo used in this article was a mock-up. Hot Pockets brand has absolutely nothing to do with this article (to the best of our knowledge) or the news described. The packaging was simply used as a backdrop for visualization of the initiative being described by the FDA. The nutritional information enlarged is also not relevant at all.

By Elie Ayrouth

Elie is a product of Orange County, CA. In early 2012, his dentist diagnosed him with 8 different cavities, three of which on the same tooth, as a result of his 23-year Sour Patch Kid addiction.

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