The Food and Drug Administration needs a new vision for nutrition labeling, said Len Heflich, contributing editor, Baking & Snack. Recently, he bluntly described the current slate of labeling initiatives as “misguided, unscientific and overly complicated.” Moreover, he pointed out these efforts will cost a ton of money and, in many cases, confuse consumers instead of helping them improve their diets.
Sure, the baking industry has commented on these initiatives and has asked for clarification and guidance. However, Mr. Heflich suggested, there is no time for such requests that just stretch out a flawed process.
“It is time to kill these initiatives and start over with a new vision focused on consumer benefit,” he noted.
In his November column, Mr. Heflich examined the pitfalls of current labeling efforts that include redefining dietary fiber, added sugar and folic acid, along with a Nutrition Facts Panel redesign and G.M.O. labeling. Each initiative, he noted, will require significant changes in the nutritional label, analytical testing and nutrition databases as well as recalculation of ingredient and finished product nutrient values.
“To top it off, the implementation deadlines for each have a different date,” he pointed out. “The result is a lack of definition, lack of coordination, greater cost, complexity and no benefit to consumers.”Yes, it’s best to stop wasting valuable time and effort on fixing something that’s irreparably broken and start over from scratch with a common-sense approach that makes “cents.”