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Proposed Bill Would Set Front-of-Pack Standards, Definition for ‘Natural’

Sep 25, 2013

The Food Labeling Modernization Act, unveiled last Friday by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), would create a single standard for front-of-pack labeling and set definitions for the use of "healthy" and "natural" claims. It also would require products to disclose caffeine amounts over 10 milligrams and list the percent of whole grain in products making whole grain claims. In addition, the standards would require that added coloring, non-caloric sweeteners or any artificial or natural coloring be stated on the front of the food label and would include changes to the nutrition label and ingredient statement for sugars.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association responded quickly, saying the new standards are unnecessary.

“Based on our preliminary analysis of this legislation, we are very concerned that it could have serious unintended consequences on a variety of products and will only serve to confuse consumers,” GMA said in a statement. “GMA agrees with and supports federal laws requiring food labels to be truthful and non-misleading. There is a robust regulatory system in place to ensure the accuracy of information found on a food label.”

IDFA supports GMA’s position and will continue to monitor the legislation’s progress for members.

Read GMA’s full statement and more details about the proposed bill here.

Members with questions may contact Ruth Saunders, IDFA vice president of policy and legislative affairs, at rsaunders@idfa.org or Cary Frye, IDFA vice president of regulatory and scientific affairs, at cfrye@idfa.org.

 
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