Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Manufacturers Resist Proposed “Healthy” Food Labeling Changes

Manufacturers are resisting as the federal government seeks to modify regulations regarding “healthy” labels for food items. Several leading makers of cereals, frozen and packaged food have lodged numerous objections with the Food and Drug Administration against new guidelines that would exclude food with high levels of added sugar and salt from being marketed as “healthy” on packaging.

Some manufacturers have even contended that the regulations are unconstitutional and violate companies’ First Amendment rights.

The FDA updated its standards for what foods can use the term “healthy” on packaging last autumn, marking the first modification since the rule was introduced in the 1990s. The proposed revisions would eliminate high-sugar, low-fat items that are presently permitted to use the healthy label, including fruit-flavored low-fat yogurts and Raisin Bran cereal.

Many food businesses have complained that the more stringent nutritional criteria would unfairly discredit a variety of popular foods. Kellogg’s criticized the rule, stating in a February 16 comment on the proposal that it “automatically disqualifies entire categories of nutrient dense foods.” General Mills took it a step further, arguing that the FDA’s “overly restrictive” rule encroaches on companies’ freedom of speech.

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