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Prevention Institute

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Today's GMA efforts “Not what families deserve—or need."
“New” front of package labeling system more of the same old thing. 

Statement of Claiming Health Author Juliet Sims

‘New’ front of package labels from the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association released today don’t give any new tools to parents, they just add to the confusion and continue to mislead. Prevention Institute’s study, Claiming Health, released last week, showed that 84% of the food industry’s ‘better for you’ products containing front of package labels fail to meet basic nutrition standards.

These new food industry labels are still voluntary—and companies can still continue to pick and choose which products they’re on. Families will still be at the mercy of food companies, without accurate, comparable and useful information.

 The  inclusion of ‘nutrients to encourage’ only further confuses things for parents—adding healthful nutrients to highly processed foods and then touting them as a good choice is simply misleading.

The FDA is currently working to develop uniform standards for FOP labels. If food and beverage manufacturers really want to “help consumers construct a healthy diet” they should wait for the FDA system. The question is, do food companies want to be on the side of parents, or don’t they?

 Prevention Institute is a national non-profit organization established in 1997, dedicated to placing prevention at the center of efforts to improve community health, equity and well-being. The Institute specializes in building capacity among community-based organizations and government agencies at the local, state, and federal level to develop strategies for environmental, policy, and systems-level changes to prevent illness and injury in the first place. Find us at www.preventioninstitute.org.

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