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Unpublished Paper
Real Change or a Red Herring?: The FDA's Proposal to Alter the Nutrition Facts Label After Two Decades
(2014)
  • Katie Sierra Richardson
Abstract
On March 3, 2014, the Food and Drug Administration announced a proposal to update the Nutrition Facts label, in which it seeks to visually change the format of the label, require a declaration of added sugar, potassium, and Vitamin D levels, update the serving size recommendations, no longer require labeling of calories from fat, and a few other minor changes. It has been two decades since the FDA has updated the Nutrition Facts label, and the agency’s primary focus in its proposal appears to be on relatively insignificant details, which will do little to create a healthier America. This article addresses the weakness in the FDA’s proposal, including: (1) the prominence of the word “calories” on the label, and how this will incorrectly affect consumer’s perception of the importance of calories; (2) the elimination of calories from fat from the label; and (3) mandating the declaration of added sugars on the label, which is a masquerade for the sugar addiction and obesity crisis in America. Also discussed in this article is the nutrients and substances that the FDA failed to address in its proposal and include on the label. For instance, the declaration of information regarding a food’s content of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, antioxidant levels, and glycemic load, along with full disclosure of harmful substances and ingredients like trans fats, Monosodium Glutamate, and caffeine would greatly benefit the consumer by helping them more easily analyze and compare food products to decide which foods to consume. Additionally, the legal action that needs to be taken by the FDA, Secretary of Health and Human Services, or Congress to require disclosure of certain nutrients on the Nutrition Facts label is discussed in detail. Ultimately, the nation-wide obesity and illness epidemic plaguing American society needs to be addressed immediately. Unfortunately the FDA failed to embrace the opportunity to truly change the future of America’s health with its proposal.
Keywords
  • food and drug,
  • FDA,
  • food and drug administration,
  • MSG,
  • added sugar,
  • trans fat,
  • Omega fatty acids,
  • Katie Richardson,
  • Sierra Richardson,
  • FDA proposal
Publication Date
2014
Citation Information
Katie Sierra Richardson. "Real Change or a Red Herring?: The FDA's Proposal to Alter the Nutrition Facts Label After Two Decades" (2014)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/katie_richardson1/1/