Food In Canada

CSPI urges FDA to end “food labelling chaos”

By Food in Canada staff   

Business Operations Exporting & Importing Regulation Center for Science in the Public Interest Food and Drug Administration USDA

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) – Washington has asked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to stop “egregious…false claims, ingredient obfuscations and other labelling shenanigans” on food products.

The CSPI sent the U.S. FDA a report documenting specific examples late last year.

In a release, the CSPI notes that under the Obama Administration, the FDA is sending more warning letters to food manufacturers about misleading labelling.


But, says the CSPI, major food manufacturers continue to confuse or defraud consumers about the health effects, ingredients or “natural”-ness of their products.

Labelling overhaul

The CSPI offered some of its own recommendations, which include:

Front-of-package Nutrition Labelling: Key nutrition information should be summarized, using easy-to-comprehend symbols.

Improving the Nutrition Facts Panel by

• deleting extraneous information;

• providing clearer and more accurate information on calorie, sugars and fibre content;

• changing disclosures for “Amount per serving” and “Serving size” to statements like “Amount per ½ cup serving.”

• prohibiting deceptive nutrition disclosures for large single-serving packages;

• making nutrition labelling mandatory for single-ingredient meat and poultry products.

Ingredient labels: The format of ingredient labels should be modernized by:

    • redesigning the ingredient list so that ingredient information is presented in a format similar to that used for nutrition information.

    • requiring that sources of added sugars be grouped together to give a better indication of total sugar content;

    • requiring that the amounts of key ingredients be disclosed as percentages of the total weight of the product;  

    • mandating that caffeine content be disclosed in a conspicuous location on the information panel.

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