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July 25, 2012 / Admin

“Front-of-Package” Labeling examined by the CDC

For years, manufacturers have been required to report nutritional information on packaged food products.  With the dramatic increase in obesity in American throughout the last 20 years, many manufacturers have begun to include additional nutritional messages on the front of their food packages.  These messages are referred to as “front-of-package” (“FOP”) labeling, and are generally quick summaries of such nutritional data as number of calories, grams of trans fat, saturated fat, etc.

Congress directed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to undertake a two-phase study on these FOPs.  The CDC issued its report on the first phase of the study concentrated on the advantages and disadvantages of the various FOPs utilized by food manufacturers, which will then allow further investigation into which types of FOPs are most effective with consumers during the second phase.

The report determined that some information is more useful than others when contained in FOPs.  The information it deemed useful included caloric content, serving size, grams of trans fat, grams of saturated fat, and sodium levels.  It further determined that any other information, such as amount of fiber, vitamins, etc., was not as helpful when included in FOPs.

Now that the first phase of the study has been completed, the focus will now be on which types of FOPs have the most effect on the consuming public.  As a result, we’re sure to see an increase of FOPs on food product packaging, hopefully ones that aren’t false and misleading according to California law.

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