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FDA Indicates that ‘Healthy’ Claim May Be Redefined

May 18, 2016

Following discussions with a food manufacturer regarding the claims made on food labels, the Food and Drug Administration has given an indication that the agency may reconsider the definition of “healthy” as a nutrient content claim. In a recent statement, FDA said it believes “now is an opportune time to reevaluate regulations concerning nutrient content claims.”

FDA announced it will solicit public comment on the definition of "healthy" as a nutrient content claim in the near future. Since there have not been any final changes to the definition of the claim “healthy,” companies using this term should continue to ensure that their products meet the regulatory definition.  

Originally, FDA issued a warning letter to KIND Healthy Snacks regarding the use of multiple nutrient content claims on their labels. Among FDA’s concerns was that the claim “healthy” was being used on products that had saturated fat levels higher than allowed by the federal definitions. Currently, products making a "healthy" claim must meet limits for fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium and also have minimum levels of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, protein or fiber. There are variations in this definition for some products.

Following discussions with KIND, FDA agreed that the company had made changes to ensure that their labeling is in compliance with regulations. The agency allowed the company to use the phrase “healthy and tasty” in labeling when referring to the company’s philosophy, but not when referring to the food product itself.

Read FDA’s statement.

Members with questions may contact Michelle Matto, IDFA’s labeling consultant at amfoodnutrition@gmail.com.

 
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