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Front-pack nutrition info sought in US
A White House summit on nutrition and health to be held later this month will consider whether to mandate that nutritional information be made available on the front panel of food and beverage packages.
Public health advocates are pushing for such a mandate, but industry groups are opposing it.
Decisions will be made on whether such a system should be mandatory or voluntary, what types of information to include, and how strongly to make any warnings about harmful components.
Democrats have proposed legislation requiring mandatory front-of-package labeling.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) justified the plan saying people don’t have the patience or the time to be detectives on store shelves, hunting for data that may be somewhere on the package.
In 2011, the Consumer Brands Association assisted in the launch of Facts Up Front, a voluntary front-of-package information program. However, the organization is opposed to any mandatory programs. Critics accuse voluntary programs like Facts Up Front of being whitewashed.
Five countries now require nutritional information on the front of the packaging. According to a recent study of Chilean consumers, the market share for breakfast cereals with calorie and sugar warnings decreased slightly but significantly. Furthermore, some manufacturers began reformulating their products to fall below the warning thresholds.
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