FDA Proposes 10 Awesome Changes to Nutrition Labels, But Misses 5 Crucial Modifications

Michelle Obama Introduces New Nutrition Facts Panel

As you’ve probably heard already, the FDA has been hard at work trying to revamp nutrition labels on packaged foods, after more than 20 years since the original labeling law went into effect. No doubt, there was a lot of cajoling from the White House, with First Lady Michelle Obama championing healthy eating and exercise through her Let’s Move initiative.

Yesterday at the White House, on the 4th anniversary of Let’s Move, FDA Secretary Margaret Hamburg and the First Lady announced a proposed set of sweeping changes to nutrition labels. Way to go!

Please note that it could take 2-4 years before these changes are actually implemented. The FDA is now allowing the public (and corporations) to comment for 90 days. After that, there will be further wheeling and dealing until the FDA comes out with its final regulatory decision. From that point on, manufacturers will have a 2-3 year grace period to change their labels, and hopefully to improve their foods as well.

Proposed Nutrition Label

We like the proposed changes:

1. Focus on Calories. America is fat and needs to reduce calorie intake. By making calorie information much larger, it will be easier to spot on the nutrition label.

2. Real serving sizes. For years we’ve known that the suggested serving sizes are a joke. Who eats half a cup of ice cream? Just one ounce of cereal, or potato chips? The FDA is overhauling its definition of standard servings for tens of product categories. The serving size has an immediate effect on all other numbers on the nutrition panel, because they are all calculated per serving.

3. Serving size depends on package size. Many food and beverage items come in a single serve package, yet claim to contain 2 or more servings. The FDA won’t have anymore of that. If you’re a 20 ounce bottle of Cola being dispensed in a vending machine, you are one serving. Of course, the calorie value will reflect that. Instead of consumers seeing just 80 calories per serving (of 8 ounces), they will now see 200 calories (for 20 ounces).

4. Two columns of data. For packages that may be consumed as a single portion or as several servings, two sets of information must be presented. For example, a 2.5 ounce bag of Doritos can be wolfed down by one teen, or shared among 3.

5. Ditch “calories from fat”. As we all know, fat is not evil. We need good fats. Counting calories from fat is not the right way to count calories.

6. Show added sugars. This is a great addition, and one that food companies will furiously try to repeal. Americans consume 16% of their calories from added sugars. The most current recommendation is that only 5-15% of calories come from added sugars AND solid fats. Obviously America needs help separating natural occurring sugars (fruit, yogurt) from added sugar. You’d be surprised how much sugar is added to bread, pasta sauce, and other foods. The challenge will be implementing this correctly. Manufacturers may start to use fruit purees instead of table sugar to avoid labeling added sugar, despite the fact that they are identical from a nutrient perspective.

7. Mandated Vitamin D and Potassium information. Currently these two nutrients do not have to be listed on the nutrition facts panel. But Americans are woefully deficient in both. Vitamin D helps build stronger bones (along with calcium). Potassium has multiple roles, among them regulating mineral and liquid balance in the body, reducing blood pressure spikes from excess sodium, and helping muscles contract. Expect more foods to be fortified with vitamin D

8. Optional Vitamin A and C information. Currently these 2 nutrients need to be listed. But since most Americans get enough, displaying their amount will not be mandatory.

9. Changes to recommended daily value for some nutrients. Sodium goes down from 2400 to 2300. It should have gone down to 1500. Fiber will go up from 25 grams a day to 30.

10. Layout is different and easier to read (hopefully). See the picture above and let us know what you think.

The above changes are great.

What’s missing:

1. Front of pack information. For a quick peek on the front of the package, the Institute of Medicine recommended a simple front of package nutrition label. The food industry did not like it at all because it would scare consumers. So it created its own, the confusing Facts Up Front program, which obfuscates important information. Too bad the FDA did not strike it down with this proposal.

2. Caffeine content. As more products are seeing the addition of caffeine to their ingredient list, it would be great for the consumers to know how much buzz they will be getting.

3. Ingredient list upgrade. Not a word from the FDA about the ingredient list. This is a shame, because you can’t buy a product based solely on its nutrition facts panel. Food companies have been gaming the system by using crappy ingredients and then fortifying the product with vitamins and minerals. In other cases, calories are reduced through the addition of artificial sweeteners (See the 100 calorie yogurt, oh so fashionable these days).

We would like to see controversial ingredients highlighted, to make it easier for consumers to decide to stay away. Examples: artificial sweeteners, artificial colors, azodicarbonamide, BHT, and more…

4. Country of origin. While the USDA does a semi-reasonable job of ensuring the safety and quality of our food supply, there is almost no oversight on imported foods. China and other countries don’t have a good food safety record. American consumers should know if their product has been made with ingredients from abroad.

5. GMO information. We’ve written about this many times in the past. Genetically modified ingredients should be labeled. Consumers have a right to decide if they want to buy a product that has been altered in ways mother nature would not allow. Until long term studies by independent third parties can prove GMOs are safe, don’t force consumers to risk their health.

For a full history of nutrition labeling (starting in 1862), read our blog post on the matter.

What do you think about the FDA’s proposed changes?

Get Fooducated

  • JKern

    Good list — but how would you define the “controversial” ingredients list? Stuff in food is either GRAS or it isn’t, and you know the industry would put up a huge fight to keep questionable things off the list. I’m all for full lists, maybe this item needs to be left for the consumer to decide.

    • http://www.fooducate.com/ Fooducate

      Let’s start with those that have been banned in other countries. Then the ones that have had enough negative study results to warrant extra caution.

  • Brian Klein

    I don’t think we need much information on calories. To me, it’s a curiosity, and it’s not an important factor when deciding to buy a food. And to that point, I could care less about the macronutrient information as well. Nice to have, but not necessary. I’m more interested in the ingredient list. I want to know if what I’m buying has fake food in it. When everything is said and done about the health of food, it comes down to that. Is this the most natural way this food can be delivered to me? So I think this nutrition label fails because it’s not getting to the heart of the matter for true health. It’s still distracting us from what’s truly relevant. So I agree with you about #3, #4, and #5 on the what’s missing list. I think those items are necessary. Until then, the current ingredient list is the best way to know if a food is healthy. The rest of the information is just trivia.

    • http://www.fooducate.com/ Fooducate

      Ingredients are important, but so are nutrients, especially the ones to limit such as calories, saturated fats, added sugars, and sodium.
      And for weight loss, the number one recommendation is to keep a food journal and count calories.

      • Brian Klein

        I would argue that calorie counting does not do a lot to help you lose weight. It might work for awhile, but it’s not really a sustainable practice for life. Paying attention to satiety, eating real whole foods is what is going to help people. Most of what is packaged is not a real food. And calories in, calories out is an outdated failed experiment on how to lose weight. Read the Calorie Myth by Jonathan Bailor. Before we had even dreamt of a food label, people were generally not obese. They figured it out pretty easily. Also, if you are eating whole real food, then salt is not an issue. And neither is saturated fat.

        • LeenBeens

          Agreed. Good points.

        • http://www.greeneyedguide.com/ Danielle Robertson

          As if satiety is never tricked or influenced by outside factors… I recommend the book “Mindless Eating- Why We Eat More Than We Think” by Brian Wansink. Satiety can be manipulated by visuals such as package size and micronutrient content. This is why I think proposals 2, 3 and 4 will help. It’s a humbling experience to see what the facts are when you do eat the whole container. See “I Ate the Whole Thing – a food label hypothetical” http://t.co/l12GdZ4sOR (or http://greeneyedguide.com/2014/03/09/i-ate-the-whole-thing/ ).

        • Brian oblivious

          Wrong. Calories and macronutrients are about the most important thing a person can track. You would eat things based on their ingredients alone? Look at facts, not your opinion.

          • Evacaf

            If you want facts then read the Calorie Myth by Jonathan Bailor. Then look at the scientific research references that prove what Brian Klein above is saying. Reducing calories alone (or exercising to loose weight alone) is really just starving the body and causing it to burn muscle and hold on to the fat.

          • Brian Klein

            So by your logic, I should only take a look at the calories and macronutients, no matter what the food is? And that will lead to great health? So a snickers bar, cheetos, margarine all work and are healthy as long as I don’t go over my calorie or macronutrient ratios?

            The body metabolizes all the macronutrients differently. And depending on the food source, those macronutrients are metabolized differently. For instance the carbs of a sweet potato and the carbs from cane sugar metabolize differently. The body is much more complex than any calorimeter can account for.

            Finally, I find it interesting that you have to use a name “Brian Oblivious.” Why couldn’t you use your real name and call me oblivious in your post if that’s how you felt?

          • Dean

            Mr. Oblivious,
            A calorie is approximately the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water by one degree Celsius. It is not, in any way, a measure of the quality or health benefit of food. I don’t know about others, by yes, I do buy and eat food entirely based on it’s ingredients. When I buy my kale, spinach, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. the only relevant factors are: how fresh is it, and is it free of pesticides. Calorie counting is a rather irrelevant way of determining what one should eat. However, I am the type of person who won’t eat at a restaurant unless I know where their food came from, and that it’s pesticide, chemicals, and GMO free. If you are, however, the type of person who goes to places like McDonald’s and says “Eat this, not that, because it’s lower in calories” you are essentially saying “The way to health is to take the bad food you’re eating, and simply eat less bad food.” Then you and I are having a very different kind of conversation. In this instance, yes, you would be correct in saying that putting less bad food in your body is a wise choice. What I am advocating, though, is to completely stop eating bad food. When all you eat is healthy and well balanced for you, there’s absolutely no need to count. I believe much of the arguing that is going on here is simply due to the fact that we are all speaking from within the context of our own situations, and what we believe to be healthy. I agree with Brian Klein, and with those who say Calories should not be enlarged. If anything, I would like to insist that ALL ingredients must be listed, not just “and other artificial/natural ingredients”. Let people decide for themselves what’s healthy/unhealthy, but at the very least, provide them with ALL of the information necessary to make an informed choice.

      • Chris

        Brian Klein is correct: Conventional thinking about Calories and Fat (including natural sources of Saturated fat) are completely inaccurate. I have been consulting a Naturopathic Doctor (N.D.) and so much of what people think is good/bad for them is totally wrong. The real problems are processed foods, Industrialized Wheat products, GMO’s, Non-Organic Meats and Veggies, chemicals, preservatives, etc. Calories have absolutely NOTHING to do with how healthy something is, only how much energy your body will expend to digest it. FAT does NOT make you fat, contrary to popular opinion (Read the latest research, read Grain Brain by Dr. David Perlmutter, consult a Naturopathic Dr. that has 20+ years experience). What EVERYONE needs to do: 1) Exercise at least 5 days a week, 2) Stop buying all foods you wouldn’t find at a farm. Eat less (or zero) starchy carbs: eliminate sugar, wheat and other gluten, potato (polysaccharides, night shades=pro inflammatory), corn, carrots, pasta, all flours=bad except almond flour (because they WERE whole grains that are now processed/broken down structures that your body absorbs similarly to straight white sugar. Most ‘gluten-free’ foods are even higher on the glycemic index scale than wheat, so you need to READ the INGREDIENTS and KNOW what’s in your food, what is healthy, and what is hurting you. 3) Eat more animal protein: 30g per meal, and protein snacks between meals, like almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds (Trader Joe’s has’em!), Almond butter, Almond crackers, Almond butter bread, protein shake from ORGANIC sources. One last thing about FAT: Animal fat is great, but only if it’s from Organic, grass-fed/free range animals. Why? Because toxins and chemicals, like pesticides, artificial growth hormones, etc. are Fat-Soluble and reside there. Pesticides lead to cancer, and 4 types exacerbate (and possibly cause/lead to) ADHD and ADHD symptoms, just like Yellow 5, 6, Red 40, etc. Oh, and animal Organ meats are excellently healthy, especially for good gut bacteria/digestive health, etc. I tried going Vegan and it almost killed me (lead to overeating starchy/sugary foods, which is mostly all vegans eat (This includes FRUIT!)). If you’re a Vegan Hipster that still thinks being Vegan is healthy, talk to the long-term Vegans who started having MAJOR health decline after 15 years, especially females. The guy who did Super-Size Me? His girlfriend/wife wis a die-hard vegan, until it caused health problems, and she now eats meat, and is much healthier. It’s not the meat that’s unhealthy, it’s all the carbs and other crap most people eat with it. Oh, and salt? Salt is super healthy, btw. Because I’ve completely eliminated all processed food, and I cook all my own meals, I can have as much salt as I want, and my blood pressure is normal. Again, not cheap, 1-mineral, processed crap salt. I’m talking 51-mineral Himalayan Pink Salt that is pure, and un-exposed to the toxins in our environment like most crap salt.

        Know what’s in your food. You are what you eat. Fight back against the corporations by not buying their crap food.

        Fooducate: I’m honestly shocked that you guys still think limiting calories is a good thing to recommend to people. I would encourage you all to read some of the newer research and literature, and especially the proof in the real world of people eating high-fat, high-calorie diets that are extremely healthy. The trick is simply EAT REAL FOOD, NOT PROCESSED CRAP.

        Fooducate was a great app to use for several years to educate myself on the crap that they hide in food, but now I buy food that has 1 or two ingredients, so I don’t need it anymore. 95% of the food I buy doesn’t have a barcode or come in a box. It comes from the produce section, or the meat section. That’s it.

        Get & stay healthy! It’s worth it!

        • Charles

          “…what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

          • Leif

            If anyone here has lowered readers IQs, it is you sir… I suggest you get off the commercial bandwagon and do your own research. Talk to naturopaths, thos who have eaten healthy for a long time, people from other countries where they don’t eat all the crap we tend to in the US, etc. My wife is from a 3rd world country, and they eat much healthier down there, closer to the source, don’t irradiate their herbs and animals, and have very little obesity… other than among some of the youngsters who are learning to consume Western diet foods.

            At 44, I’ve seen several other cultures, and have a reasonable amount of experience with different eating styles here in the US, vegan friends, those who eat off the farm they live on, and city slickers (like me) who eat too much packaged food. What Chris said bears much more merit than your juvenile comment. We don’t care about your points here… we prefer to try to educate others. As far as God having mercy on his soul… if he is a believer, God will… :)

            Have a great night!

          • missy

            Boys, Boys, such big words you use. Why not settle your differences the old fashioned way…with a ruler.

          • TOm

            no kidding! These people are all on the next gluten free diet fad and forgetting the basics in nutrition.

        • Sandy

          Organic wheat is much different than the highly processed, highly fertilized, bleached wheat in most products. So, do not say “all flour is bad,” and organic potatoes are a very good source of vitamin B6 and a good source of potassium, copper, vitamin C, manganese, phosphorus, niacin, dietary fiber, and pantothenic acid. Go ahead and attack wheat and potatoes when what is killing you are all the artificial ingredients and hormone disruptors in foods. If it came from nature and we have enjoyed it for thousands of years without getting fat, this new research is flawed, just like they said fat was bad for you and now suddenly they say you need it! My grandparents lived on wheat and potatoes and lived to 100, without getting fat. Of course, they didn’t eat french fries, but healthy, steamed potatoes and rye bread.

    • Bob

      Amen!

    • Alexis A

      Sodium is not trivial if you have hypertension. Sugar is not trivial if you’re diabetic.
      Not that ingredients are unimportant, but to pretend there aren’t people who need this information is unrealistic.

  • Ashleigh

    My biggest concern is no. 2: I have lost weight by limiting my junk food intake and have based it off the recommended serving size on the nutrition label. A half cup of ice-cream is plenty of sugar in one sitting. I understand that there are people who don’t know what a serving size should look like or how to look and see how many servings are in a package; maybe that is something we should be teaching in elementary school. Using fooducate has taught me so much about how to make healthy choices that isn’t seen in many (if any) public school health class, and that is more of a problem than how the calories are presented on the nutrition label.
    Also, if 7 and 8 are implemented, I could see the end result just being flipped. We could end up getting too much vitamin D & potassium and not enough vitamin A & C.
    I would like to see added sugars on the label, but am disturbed by fooducate’s point. It will be really hard to keep in check.
    Also, I would like to see numbers for artificial sugars. Personally, I try to stay away from them. It would be nice to see without reading all the ingredients if artificial sugars are present and how much is in product.

    • Leif

      Good point on the artificial sweeteners… I try to avoid them as much as possible, especially with having 2 babies in the house. We consume many things organic. Read a book called Rich Food, Poor Food, and they will open your eyes to many misleading practices by the food manufacturers… as well as give great advice on what you really WANT to buy organic, such as apples, corn, herbs and potatoes, and what you should save money and buy commercial, such as onions…

      I haven’t read Naked Calories yet, the previous book written by the Caltons, but I’ve heard many good reviews of it also.

    • Jake Akemann

      I can see your point. On one hand you want realism that’s based on the eating habits of most of the country, on the other hand you don’t want to encourage large serving sizes by only displaying those.

      Hopefully the FDA’s new definition of serving size will strike a balance between the two.

  • Anna

    Very good article

  • Nikki

    Do it faster America is getting fat!

  • LeenBeens

    I disagree with the need for calorie amount to be bolded and enlarged. We as a society should also not be globally termed as “fat”. Those of us struggling with eating disorders have enough fear over calorie counts in food. I would rather see percentages or grams of saturated fats being bolded. Calories are not the unhealthy number, sodium and trans fats are.

    • Guest

      This is the most backward thing I have ever heard. Fat does not make you fat. Saturated fat does not make you fat. Do some research before you have children and pollute their brains also with your nonsense.

  • Tanya

    I totally agree with your suggestions but most of all the front of the packing…first thing folks look at and the GMO and country of origin. However, I am still majorly concerned about the serving size. I think it will help people really see what they are eating but on the other hand people need to know what a NORMAL serving size is! Thank you for putting out the article.

  • http://www.greeneyedguide.com/ Danielle Robertson

    Brian Wansink’s book “Mindless Eating-Why We Eat More Than We Think” demonstrates the power of portion control. It’s not about calories, it’s about the volume of food we eat. This is swayed by many things, especially packaging. I think the proposals to make the label more accurate to what people acting eat is a solid move (#2 and #3). I put together a SlideShare Label Hypothetical exercise for popcorn, soup, ice cream and juice to demonstrate what the Nutrition facts would be if it was Per Container. “I Ate the Whole Thing – a food label hypothetical” http://t.co/l12GdZ4sOR (or http://greeneyedguide.com/2014/03/09/i-ate-the-whole-thing/ ).

    • Spaceechik

      I liked your infographic, but I have to point out how fuzzed out the type was, and how long it took for me to read it. Good suggestions, though, thanks.

  • http://divaonadiet.com/ Alexis {Diva on a Diet}

    What about companies being able to say 0g trans fat when it’s under 0.5g?!? So misleading!!!

    • Jack

      Because believe it or not, some trans fat is actually natural, and surprisingly, not bad for you. In fact, you need it for health. Understanding fats is not so simple. Just stick with unrefined fats and you are okay.

  • Menlo

    My suggestion:
    Regulation of serving size for all products. In my country (Switzerland) all the labels have to show the nutrition for 100 grams. It is so much easier to compare food items if they all are based on the same serving size!
    MK

    • Lynn

      What a wonderful idea. This would not only show us portion sizes but the power of volumetrics.

    • Renchik

      It’s not just only Switzerland but all of EU and other countries also. What I’m conflicted about with that is those ONLY show the amount per 100g, so for those items that are a fraction or multiple of that, another column shills be added, for those people that can’t do simple math or not so simple math.

  • Mary Tobey

    GMO labeling..GMO labeling…GMO labeling…GMO labeling…

  • Cate

    >I’d like to see full disclosure, not “ditching” any of the current info (why go back on info that some use, some don’t?) and adding “added sugar” (from whatever source not naturally occurring in the product), caffeine and Potassium. It would be difficult to OD on Vitamin D, since many groups don’t get enough, but if too many foods become fortified, who knows? >KEEP the ingredient list! I WANT TO KNOW WHAT I’M EATING and deserve to know GMO and country of origin. >One info label should suffice – all info in one place. Type size doesn’t need to be larger (but not smaller): consumers are either going to read the info or they’re not.

  • Kate

    The unfortunate issue at hand is the amount of Americans that are unaware of how many calories they eat/drink/consume each day. The labels should have information about the calories allowed for an average person each day. Most people struggling with their weight have no idea how many calories they eat each day. I think it’s great that they are changing the calories for a single bag of chips, or a single bottle of soda, because it’ll be good to see. I never thought I ate that much until I tracked my intake.
    Most are educated early on in elementary, middle, and sometimes high school for 1 quarter each year. How many people remember that in their 30′s with all of the things that happen inbetween?

    • Brian Klein

      Most people struggling with their weight have no idea what a healthy diet is because the government has been giving them the wrong information for too long. Give up the processed foods, and most people lose weight pretty effortlessly. Forget about counting calories, reducing fat intake and whole grains. If people would replace grains with veggies, replace vegetable oils with butter, and make every meal from scratch, weight loss will come pretty easily in most cases.

  • JKC

    The phrase “natural flavors” is almost impossible to avoid if you eat anything processed at all. It is easier to avoid high fructose corn syrup than “natural flavors”. I eat very little processed food, but, even with the tiny amounts that I eat, and can’t avoid “natural flavors”. I really wish the FDA would force companies to actually say what’s in there.

  • Spaceechik

    My ideal food label would include the amount of grains and fresh water used to raise cattle per pound of meat. It’ll never happen…but it would be an eye-opener how much fresh water goes into raising cattle to slaughter age, that could have gone directly to humans. Same goes for grain. Meat as a large part of our diet is unsustainable over time. And that’s aside from any animal rights concerns. Meat should be consumed lightly, as a seasoning or very rarely.

    • Vic Blu

      Couldn’t disagree with you more spaceechik. But then my ancestors were Hunter – Gatherer’s not gatherer-hunters. Your metabolism is still more neanderthal than anything. I’m brown and was made to eat meat. Not grains etc… Let’s talk about how much water it takes to keep your lawn green, your park’s green, and the ever so needed golf course green.

    • Brian Klein

      Actually, meat could be completely sustainable if we farmed it correctly. The plains supported the same number of bison before they were all hunted down as there are cattle in the US right now. We’d have to stop growing corn to create food for cattle, and fuel for our cars. We’d also have to eat a bit less of it, but it’s more sustainable than our current system. See Allan Savory’s Ted Talk. It’s amazing that people are not taking note of this. We could be raising carbon negative cattle in the US starting today if we did it right.

  • http://GlutenFreeG.blogspot.com @GlutenFreeG

    I don’t see where gluten and allergies will be visibly shown? The entire label is a marketing story yet the nutritional label is still half assed and doesn’t tell a story itsel for true health and better transparency to innocent consumers. This is another sad FDA attempt !!!

  • CherylinMassachusetts

    Labels are great, but if parents should be buying items that require little or few labels: fruits, vegetables, proteins. I believe we need home economics/nutrition taught again in schools or as part of a “Let’s Move” program. Many parents don’t know how to prepare nutritious meals.I see so many families buying prepackaged foods high in preservatives and additives; not many bags of potatoes, carrots, onions etc from the perimeter of the grocery store. Those kinds of foods are less expensive, more economical whether you use an EBT or cash and can make a meal go further.

  • StillHaveaBrainStem

    The last four things “missing” are the most important things to me, and I’d guess, very important to others. Ridiculous.

  • Gaurang Pandya

    We (vegetarians) would like to have some mark or mention about ingredients with animal source-Gelatin, Egg, Lard and Whey (if the enzyme is extracted from calf’s intestine).

  • Kayla P

    Vitamin A is toxic in high amounts right? That at least needs to stay. And even if MOST Americans get enough that doesbf mean all of them do.

  • Sisterof2deadbrothers

    Personally, I wish the government, Michelle Obama, and the FDA would get out of my life! Anyone with common sense knows eating too much of ANYTHING is not healthy. Moderation in all things. Since labeling food became law, American has only fatter and less healthy now than we were when there was no labeling law. The FDA is just another bureaucracy that can’t get out of its own way. Just ask the country’s hemophiliacs…oh that’s right, yo can’t because they’re dead from blood products they depended on that were contaminated by HIV and Hepatitis C, (just to name a few). Dead because they depended on the FDA to safe guard their medication. Too bad the FDA turned a blind eye while pharmaceutical companies were collecting blood for their factor infusions from prisons and skid row missions. Even when warned by the CDC, they still sat on their asses and did nothing. Depend on yourselves and not the government to care for your health. Use the good sense God gave you.YOU know what’s best for you! All labeling has done is drive up food cost.

  • samgreen

    I’m not sure it falls under this change, per se, but I’d like to see labels required to say if a product contains gluten, not just wheat. As a person with celiac’s, its frustrating to have to remember all the code-names for potential contamination, and to be taken down by a mini marshmallow is just sad!

  • James_Shelton32

    I think that labels should show all vitamins but show the Recommend Daily Allowance, not the Daily Value.

    The National Institute of health shows that an adult needs 2.4 mcg of vitamin B based on health needs. This amount comes from a diet with less beef.

    Under Bush, THE FDA, with influence from the department of Agriculture who promotes mass farming, made the “Daily Value” for vitamin B12 6mcg. This may require you to eat more beef. But the 6 mcg recommendation was not made by any health claims from the department of health.

    We need to remove the Daily Value and only use the RDA.

    The Department of Agriculture under Bush promised the “Agriculturists” that the Health.gov would not change America’s eating habits. We need to challenge that thinking.

  • AllisonC

    I agree with LeenBeens and some others- I think the enlarged calorie count is way off base. It should not be emphasized. The information is there, now it seems the FDA would be stepping in to TELL people what is good/bad. Their job is just to make companies inform us- if we still want to pick up the package of Oreo’s and disregard calorie information that’s on us. I think it’s a total overstep of boundaries. Most people could care less about the information anyways, and there’s a lot already there- it’s not a problem of lack of information but a problem of laziness on the American people to actually begin to care. (Speaking of the general masses, not most people who even bothered to keep up with news like this who no doubt read nutrition info and stuff like that).

    Other than that I do like the added sugar info.

    I wish artificial sugar could be more clearly labeled. I really wish that was in the proposed changes.

  • Susan Huerta

    I love this improved nutrition label, all of these nutrients are vital in maintaining one’s health. For example, many Americans consume too much salt, don’t realize how many added sugars they consume or are misguided by serving sizes. Those little details are crucial in managing your diet because calories are just a measurement of energy, not of nutrients that are key in allowing your body to function properly. I do agree that ingredients should be focused on too. Also ingredients that are doubted on whether it can be comsumed, should definitely be hi lighted. Overall I believe this is a great start to fix the problem we started with food.

  • Christopher Clements

    GMO LABELING!! To me the single most important issue. I don’t want to eat genetically modified foods and should have labeling that will help me make that choice.

  • David Hart

    I can understand the want for a GMO label, but the following statement is pretty biased against the FDA. “Until long term studies by independent third parties can prove GMOs are safe, don’t force consumers to risk their health.” Since when is the FDA not an unbiased 3rd party??? It is good enough for injectable biopharmaceuticals made from bacteria, why not corn? These type of blogs are drastically misinforming the public. There were safety studies, but I guarantee you the author had no idea. Pretty sad.

  • jess b

    I want more ingredients info!!!!!!!!! I want to know if gmo and country of origin!!!

  • Huma Syed

    This is awesome that GMO food will be mark as. Hopefully calories will be seen and read easily and people can manage health better.

  • Jennifer

    These days, the first thing I look for on a product is the ingredients list and non-GMO labels that some companies are providing. This is more important and should be labeled on all items. Everything else, as important as they are, has become secondary. If such a reform on labels is being conducted now, it seems imperative that proper listing of ingredients be included. It is our right as consumers to know what is going into the food we are going to be putting in our bodies. The levels of sugars, fats and salts have exceeded to unnecessary levels, so while I do appreciate the attention this is getting, I strongly stand by the need of more emphasis on ingredients. How we ever got into a position where food was harming us is beyond me. Overhaul the whole thing and be done with it. Profit should not outweigh health.

  • pj

    America is fat! Be nice, I doubt having CALORIES so big on there is really gonna make someone who is big stop eating that food, people who are big don’t look at calories duh that’s why they are big!!

  • truthbtold

    Good start but far from acceptable. There are ingredients in our foods that are poisoning, causing diseases and slowly killing us yet agencies like the FDA who were set up to protect and ensure the safety of food and drugs allow it. Their concern is corporate interest not public interest and their actions and inactions prove that.The FDA is a joke they are worthless and a complete failure. When the FDA stops sleeping with billion dollar private corporations is when we can expect better change.

  • Jennifer

    I think your information is invaluable and evidence-based and I thank you….except for your characterization of GMOs. I recommend Robert Paarlberg’s scholarly yet readable explanation in Food Politics: What everyone needs to know (2010 Oxford University Press).

  • pj

    It would be easy to be skinny if we we’re all over 6 feet tall!!! I could be a spokesperson for a healthy weight if I could grow 10 more inches!

  • Geeb

    I love the fact that the labels are being shaken up…even if it is a little. Best part are the added sugars part. Worst part: GMO LABELLING! I am so mad that it is not being mandated! We have a right to know whats in our food. Ok fine if they didn’t tell us vitamins are in there or not but we have no clue if GMOs are good or not. For safety reasons, I assume that they are not and I have a right to know if it is not. I am tired of leaaving this to the states to decide. This should be considered an inalienable right, the right to know what we eat! Its also a fundamental right! We have the right to life don’t we? For all we know GMO’s can cause cancer! All the major food corps can spend millions to brainwash people to vote no under the excuse they would have to change their food labels! Now they have to anyway so their whole argument is moot.

  • veronica

    I would definitely like to know the ingredients of its entirety and where the ingredients are from- China, America etc..Furthermore I believe its a great idea to state the caloric value for the size of the package food item. Frankly noone drinks just 8oz of a 20oz drink so just go ahead and do the math and put it on the lable.