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IDFA Weighs In on Proposed FDA Studies of Nutrient Content Claims

Oct 17, 2012

The Food and Drug Administration aims to study whether fortification and labeling of certain snack foods could cause consumers to believe they could substitute these products for more nutritious foods to ensure a nutritionally sound diet. The agency wants to measure consumer responses to nutrient content claims on the labels of snack foods, such as cookies, carbonated beverages and candy, and has solicited comments on its research plan.

In comments submitted Monday, IDFA said the foods that the study uses for sample labels should not include snacks that naturally contain beneficial nutrients, such as yogurt, but should be snack foods that are naturally low in nutrient value prior to fortification, such as chips or candy.  These low-nutrient foods have already been identified as inappropriate for fortification by FDA’s Fortification Policy. 

Noting that many dairy products, such as low-fat varieties of milk, are required to have nutrients added, IDFA said many other dairy products are fortified with additional nutrients to provide consumers of naturally nutrient-rich foods with added benefits.

"Fortification of many foods is useful to help consumers improve their health, such as vitamin D fortification of milk or folic acid fortification of refined grain products," the comments said.

IDFA also said the results from the study should be applied "carefully and judiciously" to avoid drawing overly broad conclusions that could affect all fortified foods.

For more information, contact Michelle Matto, IDFA nutrition and labeling consultant, at amfoodnutrition@gmail.com.

 
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