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Four Democratic lawmakers have introduced legislation in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate with the aim of minimizing consumer confusion regarding food labels.
The Food Labeling Modernization Act of 2015 takes on front-of-package labeling and health claims, requiring updates to the Nutrition Facts panel and ingredient list. The Food and Drug Administration has proposed changing the Nutrition Facts panel to require information on added sugars, updated serving sizes, and more prominent calorie and serving-size information. The agency has also recently requested public comment on the use of the term "natural" on food labels.
"When families make the effort to eat nutritious, healthy food, the labels on food products should help them make the right choices, not confuse or mislead them," said Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J), who, along with Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), crafted the legislation, which he says takes "a comprehensive approach at ensuring consistency and clarity on food labels and setting reliable standards for what healthy and natural actually mean."
Adds Pallone: "Healthy eating is especially critical to combating the growing epidemic of childhood obesity, which has nearly tripled in the past 30 years and is one of the most serious public health problems in this country. For the health of our children and our country, the time is now for this long-overdue legislation."