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food labels



Slammin’! Food Labels to Get First Major Update in 20 Years

If something has stayed the same for 20 years, it’s usually either a sign of a tradition holding fast, or an indication that it’s time for a change. Change is in the air at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which has plans to overhaul its 20-year-old design of food labels.

food label

According to the FDA, the new design is headed down the path of final approval. “The agency is working toward publishing proposed rules to update the nutrition facts label and serving size information to improve consumer understanding and use of nutrition information on food labels,” Juli Putnam, a media spokesperson for the FDA, told TIME magazine.

Many consumers and nutrition experts are saying it’s about time the labels are updated. Michael Taylor, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods told ABC News that, 20 years ago, “there was a big focus on fat, and fat undifferentiated. The food environment has changed and our dietary guidance has changed. It’s important to keep this updated so what is iconic doesn’t become a relic.”

The last notable change to food labels was the separation of trans fats from all fats in 2006, due to consumer demand.


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Major Organic Brands Still Funding Anti-GMO Labeling Efforts in Front of Washington’s I-522 Vote

I-522

They’re at it again, and this time just a little more sneakily than before. Not only are some of the biggest brands in organic and earth-friendly food still supporting anti-labeling campaigns, but now they’re trying to do it in secret.

A new infographic produced by Cornucopia.org shows which brands still oppose the labeling of GMOs. What’s more, after facing major backlash from their opposition to Prop 37, many of those corporations hid behind membership in the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) to secretly continue funding anti-labeling measures.
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Nutritional Labeling on Alcohol May Become a Reality to Educate Drinkers

A humble pocket of our society has grown increasingly health conscious in recent years, and while DietsInReview touts the positive exploits of the nutritionally enlightened, there is still a large chunk of the population who simply don’t get it. Proposed nutritional labeling on alcoholic beverages is an issue that could unite both the trim and otherwise alike, and perhaps usher some unhealthy citizens toward the light.

Alcohol

The U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau originally proposed the nutritional labeling in 2007, and have been mulling over its execution since then. The production and consumption of alcohol is big business—it’s said beer is the third most popular beverage in the world—so the fact that nutritional labels aren’t being slapped on cans and bottles already is mystifying. The alcohol manufacturers that have caught on to the calorie conscious trend—Skinny Girl spirits and Miller 64 come to mind—are all for the proposed change. Those same people are fans of the change because they want increased options and awareness of what’s in their libations.
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Beware Four Tricky and Common Nutrition Label Claims

Picture this: the doors have slid open, the gust of cold air hits us, and now we’re faced with the 45,000 products the average supermarket carries. Aside from feeling purely overwhelmed at deciding what and how to choose what goes into our carts, along with our rushed, over-scheduled lives, we seem to spend more time thinking about what goes ON our bodies (like clothes and shoes) than what goes IN them.

So many food labels are difficult to decode – perhaps the reason why 60-70 percent of what we purchase is unplanned. We often fall prey to items that wear descriptive names, like “natural” and “wholesome” and “organic”…these words are like magnets attracting us to their otherwise less attractive products. Studies have shown that when a food is deemed superior through a name, it is more likely that people would expect the food to be beneficial to their health. Trans-fat free fries, baked chips, and organic candies are all surrounded by health halos, yet some halos are far from angelic.

But you shouldn’t have to be a mathematician, a librarian, or a dietitian to buy the right foods. The food label should be like the table of contents of a book – it should tell us what’s inside. Unfortunately, misleading labels lurk throughout the store and I’m here today to give you the inside scoop on what’s really going on between the lines. Here are a few examples of some personal favorite ‘wall of shame’ claims where food companies are selling sound bites instead of sound advice.
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Your Red Snapper May Actually be a Mercury-Filled Tilefish

The nonprofit ocean protection group called Oceana has been performing a study, the results of which were released last week. The question – whether or not we’re being sold, and therefore eating, the fish we think we are.

Oceana took a sum of around 1,215 fish from 12 different parts of the country and examined them to see if they matched their labels or not. Listed below are the study’s findings.

  • About one-third of the 1,215 fish samples bought from 2010-2012 were mislabeled.
  • In a collection of 120 samples that were marked as red snapper fish, 28 different species of fish were discovered. Of those, 17 were not even within the snapper fish family.
  • Southern California was the region most likely to be misinformed with 52 percent of the samples bought there actually being something different.
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