The FDA Wants Added Sugars to Be Identified on Food Labels

The FDA wants to get specific with sugar content and has proposed a rule that would change Nutrition Facts labels

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How much sugar naturally exists in your packaged food, and how much was added by the company?

The FDA is moving forward with a new controversial nutrition facts rule that would expand the amount of information on the back of the box. The move would require companies to post the amount of added sugar on nutrition labels, meaning sugar that wasn’t already naturally occurring in the food, in addition to the amount of sugar overall.

“The FDA has a responsibility to give consumers the information they need to make informed dietary decisions for themselves and their families,” Susan Mayne, director of the agency's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, said in a statement. “For the past decade, consumers have been advised to reduce their intake of added sugars, and the proposed percent daily value for added sugars on the nutrition facts label is intended to help consumers follow that advice.”

As predicted, the proposed change has provoked outcry from organization such as the American Bakers’ Association, American Beverage Association, and National Confectioners Association, who wrote to the FDA asking that more research on the subject before a rule is put in place.

“We believe such consumer research is essential to measure likely consumer understanding of the proposed changes, behavioral response to the proposed changes and benefits of modifying the nutrition facts panel,” the letter says.

This is not the only health regulation the FDA has moved forward with this year. In the spring, the government banned artificial trans fats (partially hydrogenated oils) from the food supply. In March, the FDA also proposed a new food label design which would emphasize the amount of calories and fat in larger, bolder text.

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