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MCLEAN, Va. -- The Produce for Better Health Foundation's (PBH) new Fruits & Veggies-More Matters health initiative and companion Web site will launch next week with the solid support of the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) here. Slated to bow March 19, the new PBH initiative will encourage greater consumption of fruits and vegetables in all forms -- frozen included -- in a bid to boost Americans' health and wellness.
According to AFFI, the inclusion of frozen produce in the campaign has resulted in its "reinvigorated involvement" in Wilmington, Del.-based PBH.
"[We] commend PBH's vision for a new message that is nutritionally sound and consumer-friendly," said AFFI president and c.e.o. Leslie G. Sarasin, who also serves as a member of the PBH board of directors, in a statement. "The Fruits & Veggies-More Matters campaign represents a tremendous opportunity for AFFI to be part of this vital public education campaign and to continue to spread the word about the health benefits of frozen fruits and vegetables to consumers, legislators, and policymakers, and members of the media."
Based on scientific evidence, the Food and Drug Administration ruled in March 1998 to permit frozen fruits and vegetables to be labeled "healthy" according to the same protocol that applies to fresh fruits and vegetables. The agency said that "precluding frozen produce from bearing the term 'healthy' could undermine an important element of current dietary guidance, as the basis for the 'healthy' claim is to assist consumers in constructing a diet that conforms to dietary guidelines."
AFFI has lobbied in recent years for frozen fruits and vegetables to be recognized equally with their fresh counterparts for their nutritional value. "The inclusion of frozen fruits and vegetables in the Fruits and Veggies-More Matters campaign is a victory not only for the frozen food community, but for consumers," noted Sarasin. "The science indicates that frozen fruits and vegetables can be used interchangeably with fresh fruits and vegetables from a nutritional standpoint. American families will benefit from the new initiative, which encourages increased consumption of healthy fruits and vegetables in all forms that make sense for today's lifestyles."
The Fruits & Veggies-More Matters brand supersedes the 5 A Day The Color Way campaign, reflecting the increased fruit and vegetable servings in the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans.