Importance Of Food Labeling

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Accurate, easy-to read and scientifically valid nutrition and health information on food labels is an essential component of a comprehensive public health strategy to help consumers improve their diets and reduce the risk of diet-related diseases. Consumers often compare prices of food items in the grocery store to choose the best value for their money but comparing their purchases using a comprehensive food label can help make the best choices for their health. That is what makes food labeling a public health issue – inadequate food labels may lead to poor quality food choices. Indeed today food labels could not confidently be referred to as accurate, easy-to read and containing scientifically valid nutrition and all necessary health information.…show more content…
Congress claimed the importance of health and nutrition information on labels of food in 1990 by passing the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA). It was recognized by this act that improving food labels might help reduce the risk of chronic diseases and obesity-related health issues. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for assuring that foods sold in United States are safe, wholesome and properly labeled. This applies to foods produced domestically, as well as foods from foreign countries. The labeling of food products in the United States derives from two Federal laws: Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act (FDCA) and the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act under FDA’s jurisdiction. FDA labeling regulations are found in the Code of Federal Regulations and guidance documents, SCOGS reviews and Gras notifications, warning letters issued to companies in violation and Federal Register. Also, Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA) amended the FDCA now requires that most foods bear nutrition labeling and that their labels bear nutrient content claims and health messages comply with specific requirements. Statutory labeling requirements for the United States come from section 403 of the FDCA, which entails a list of foods to be considered as “misbranded”. All the information on the U.S. food label must be in English, with the exception…show more content…
As FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D. explained, “Americans eat and drink about one-third of their calories away from home and people today expect clear information about the products they consume. Making calorie information available on chain restaurant menus and vending machines is an important step for public health that will help consumers make informed choices for themselves and for their families.” Therefore the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released new rules requiring calorie information to be clearly posted in food establishments. The purpose of the labeling is that if people know how many calories are in food that they buy and consume during, for example, watching a movie at a cinema, they might be less tempted to do it. The requirement was passed in 2010 as part of the Affordable Care Act. According to Commissioner Hamburg, these rules were delayed for five years due to the complexities of applying a standard to diverse eating establishments. As one of the newest healthcare protections actions, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) is indeed dedicated to the improvement of American health, mandating regulations governing food labeling requirements in an effort to promote conscious, and hopefully healthier, food choices by American consumers. As its core directive on this issue, the ACA required the posting of calorie and

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