Proposed revisions to the Nutrition Facts label, released last week by the Food and Drug Administration, received mostly high marks from the non-profit Center for Science in the Public Interest, which lobbied for the passage of the 1990 law requiring nutrition labels on packaged foods.
CSPI welcomed the proposed new emphasis on calories, revision of certain foods’ serving sizes, and new line for added sugars. But the group says the agency should revise its proposal to include a Daily Value for added sugars and to further lower the Daily Value for sodium to 1,500 milligrams.
“Nutrition Facts labels have helped millions of Americans select healthier diets and have spurred food companies to compete more on the basis of nutrition,” said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson.
“But industry practices and understanding about nutrition have changed since the labels first appeared on packages 20 years ago. While the FDA is off to a strong start, the agency must do more to ensure that these labels communicate better advice on sugar and salt.”
Adding a line for added sugars is a major step forward, says CSPI. That’s because nutritionists are much less concerned about the naturally occurring sugars in fruit and milk than the high- fructose corn syrup, sucrose, or other sugars added to foods.
However, the group will strongly urge the FDA to define a Daily Value for added sugars so consumers could know how much of a day’s worth a food contains. CSPI recommends a Daily Value of 25 grams—about six teaspoons—considerably less than the 23 teaspoons the average American now consumes.