General Gansler Urges Uniform Food Labeling Program to Fight
MD ( July 29, 2010) -Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler
today joined Attorneys General from 11 other States in filing
comments with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding
its proposed national voluntary front-of-package food labeling
program. The Attorneys General’s comments urged the FDA
to consider adopting a uniform labeling program for the front
of food packages, to ensure that it provides unbiased nutritional
information and encourages food manufacturers to offer healthier
products. The Attorneys General further urged the FDA to require
food package labeling to provide complete nutritional information
-- both good and bad -- to help consumers make informed choices
about the foods that they buy for themselves and their families.
The Attorneys General urged the FDA to follow specific principles
in its labeling standards:
- Transparency of underlying standards.
Any national front-of-package labeling system should be based
on publicly-available standards,
including an updated version of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans
2005, containing the best available nutritional criteria.
Front-of-package labels should apply to as many foods as possible
and not require payment by food manufacturers
beyond a reasonable licensing fee.
- Understandability. Labels
should be readily understandable by people of varying educational
levels, based on the best consumer research.
- Helpfulness. Labels
should be designed to facilitate informed and healthy consumer
- Uniformity. A national, uniform front-of-package label
should be the sole nutritional label on the front of food packages.
graphics or messages may confuse or mislead consumers and undermine
the effort to provide clear information.
The comments to the FDA were sent by the Attorneys General of
Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire,
New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee and Vermont.