FDA Solicits Comments on Use of Nutrition Symbols
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) held a public hearing last week to learn more about of the use of nutrition symbols on product labels and packaging. During the two-day hearing, FDA officials sought details about symbol programs currently used by individual companies and retailers, asking how they determine nutritional criteria, what costs are involved and whether consumer perception and acceptance is positive.
The two-day meeting included a lengthy list of speakers from a broad range of domestic and international manufacturers, associations and government agencies. Representatives from several IDFA members, including Kraft Foods, General Mills and Unilever, spoke during the meeting.
IDFA is monitoring the issue and plans to provide information to FDA during the open comment period.
"While a labeling system with nutrition symbols could provide dairy products with a way to tout their many nutritional benefits, we do have serious concerns about how it would be implemented and just how well it would work," said Michelle Matto, IDFA assistant director for regulatory affairs. "We plan to provide input to FDA to ensure that any proposed system would work to the best benefit of our members' customers and consumers."
IDFA and its Nutrition Working Group will draft written comments for submission before FDA's November 11 deadline. All members are invited to join the working group, which will work through conference calls and at a meeting in Chicago during Worldwide Food Expo. For more information and to join the group, contact Matto at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-737-4332.
The hearing agenda and audio webcast are available at www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/labsymb2.html .
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Posted September 17, 2007