Update [Wednesday morning 10/27]: General Mills has thrown in the towel as well. Just last week, at the annual ADA conference, Susan Crocket, PhD, RD the company’s Senior VP of Health and Nutrition defended the program’s integrity with deep fervor.
Update [Monday night 10/26] : Unilever just announced that it will be phasing out the Smart Choices logo from its food and beverage products now that the Food and Drug Administration plans to standardize criteria for food nutrition labels.
The Smart Choices Program will cease Front of Pack food labeling effective immediately. Bowing to pressure from the public as well as warning letters from the FDA and Connecticut’s Attorney General, the industry led organization announced
it will voluntarily postpone active operations and not encourage wider use of the logo at this time by either new or currently enrolled companies. more…
The American Society for Nutrition, which served as the “objective, scientific” cover for the nutrition criteria set by the food industry, sent out a letter to its members:
ASN commends the FDA on its announcement of intent to develop standardized criteria on which front-of-pack nutrition and shelf labeling could be based. In addition, ASN fully supports the decision of the Smart Choices Program Board of Directors to postpone their active operations as FDA works to address both front-of-pack and on shelf labeling. “ASN will continue to provide nutrition science expertise within the dialogue on front-of-pack labeling in order to best serve the interests of the health of Americans,” said ASN President Jim Hill in a statement to media.
Interestingly, the statement by the Smart Choices Board of Directors does not appear on their website homepage. It was also issued late Friday afternoon, a time slot usually reserved for bad news by PR professionals, assuming the upcoming weekend will help soften the blow.
What you need to know:
This is a great piece of news to kick off the weekend.
Despite explanations by top nutrition experts and as to why the Smart Choices program was scientifically sound, anyone with a bit of common sense will tell you that Froot Loops cereal is not a “Smart Choice”.
What to do at the supermarket:
Make your own Smart Choice by learning to read nutrition facts panels and ingredient lists. Here’s an easy piece of advice to follow: in many cases, the shorter the ingredient list, the better the product.
Help us test our new food comparison tool: alpha.fooducate.com