FDA wants public comments on food labels

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is requesting comments on whether to amend provisions of the nutrition labeling regulations regarding the prominence of calories on food labels and the serving size. This advance notice is in response to the recommendations of the Obesity Working Group, which was created to develop an action plan to address the nation's obesity problem.

FDA's nutrition labeling final rule requires the listing of total calories and calories from fat, with the exception that "Calories from fat'' information is not required on products that contain less than 0.5 grams of fat in a serving.

The OWG made the recommendations for caloric content labeling and suggested serving sizes:

  • Caloric labeling: increase the font size for calories; provide a percentage daily value for calories; and eliminate the "Calories from fat'' listing, to emphasize the listing of "Calories''.
  • Serving size: potentially require food packages that can reasonably be consumed at one eating occasion to declare the whole package as a single serving; update reference amounts of food categories; and potentially provide comparative calorie claims for smaller portions of identical foods.

Comments are due by June 20, 2005. Comments may be submitted in both written and electronic formats and must be identified by docket number. Comments regarding caloric labeling should include Docket No. 2004N-0463 or RIN number 0910-AF22; comments regarding serving size should include Docket No. 2004N-0456 or RIN number 0910-AF23.

E-mail comments to http://www.regulations.gov or http://www.fda.gov/dockets/ecomments. Written comments should be sent to: Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

To read these Notices, go to http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01jan20051800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2005/05-6643.htm and

U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Pork magazine

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