Thursday, October 14, 2010

IOM Front-of-Package Label Committee report

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) released its Front-of-Package (FOP) labeling report. This Phase I report provide a detailed examination of about 19 of the existing FOP schemes and some recommendations about what such schemes ought to do. As the IOM press release explains:
A multitude of nutrition rating, or guidance, systems have been developed by food manufacturers, government agencies, nutrition groups, and others in recent years with the intent of helping consumers quickly compare products’ nutritional attributes and make healthier choices. Ratings are typically communicated to shoppers through symbols placed prominently on food packaging, usually on the front, or on retail shelf tags. Unlike the Nutrition Facts panel, these rating systems and symbols are unregulated, and different systems focus on different nutrients. The variation may confuse consumers, and questions have been raised about the systems’ underlying nutritional criteria.
Marion Nestle provides a good summary of the report here

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