Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Food Makers Offer Own Nutrition Label Plan - NYTimes.com

From the Glass Is Half Full Department: Let’s refrain from characterizing this as irresponsible information dissemination from the food industry.  Instead, let’s call it an opportunity for consumers to get some practice at responsible and skeptical information consumption.

Starting in the next few months, the front of many food packages will prominently display important nutrition information, including calorie, fat and sugar content. The industrywide program was announced Monday by food makers and grocers.

The Obama administration wanted the package-front labels to emphasize nutrients that consumers might want to avoid, like sodium, calories and fat. But manufacturers insisted that they should also be able to use the labels to highlight beneficial nutrients, including vitamins, minerals and protein.

The administration concluded that “in the end, the label was going to be confusing, because those things would be included out of context, and it could make unhealthy foods appear like they had some redeeming quality,” said an official who was not authorized to discuss the talks and spoke on condition of anonymity. For example, the official said, “ice cream would be deemed healthy because it would have calcium in it.”

Food Makers Offer Own Nutrition Label Plan - NYTimes.com

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