Nutrition Label Changes Will Lower Many Nutrient Levels
Maybe you heard a recent news release that touted the new nutrition labels recommended by the FDA. All in the name of making nutritional information more readily accessible to consumers. Sounds OK on the surface. But when you look closely at the recommend proposal you discover there are many more implications in this proposal than the simple press release would suggest.
In this interview I will discuss the new labeling proposal and some of the implications for consumers. I have interviewed Scott previously about the international Codex Alimentarius which we will refer to in this interview. You may want to listen to that interview if you are concerned about international events and how they affect your food and nutrition.
Here are some of the changes. Not all changes are bad, but some of them could have serious consequences down the road. The following content has be excerpted from Scott’s article in WholeFoods Magazine. CLICK HERE to read the full article.
HERE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT CHANGE
“While everyone is focused on the flurry of format changes, replacement of verbiage and the fancy new look, there—hidden in plain view like the Purloined Letter—is the real danger to our health. The FDA is harmonizing our vitamin-and-mineral levels to those of Codex Alimentarius. Not 100%, but mostly. Ever since the National Health Federation’s victory at the 2009 Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses meeting (where an Australian-led attempt to reduce, across the board, vitamin-and-mineral Nutrient Reference Values [NRVs] was rebuffed), Australia and other Codex delegations have continued pushing their anti-nutrient agenda. Conspicuously silent during these debates has been the U.S. delegation. Now we know why. With this Proposed Rulemaking, the FDA wants to dumb down our Daily Values to the abysmally low Codex levels with no fewer than eight vitamins and minerals, while one (folic acid) already matches the Codex NRV and two others are within spitting distance. In the case of biotin, FDA proposes to cut its Daily Value by 90% in order to match the Codex value!
Going back to at least its October 11, 1995, pronouncement in the Federal Register, the FDA has made no secret of its intention and desire to harmonize its food laws with those of the rest of the world. This Proposed Rulemaking and label changes simply prove that this intention is still very much alive. Were those global standards for vitamins and minerals higher than our own, then such a change might be advisable, even admirable. But we all know that most of the rest of the world despises supplementation, either separately or in foods, and since these proposed label changes for daily values apply equally to the Supplement Facts panel as they do to the Nutrition Facts panel, they are very dangerous changes indeed.
There is a connection between these proposed daily values and maximum upper permitted levels, with harmonized global standards paving the way for reduced vitamin-and-mineral levels whether in pill form or food form. This is my 15th year of actively following and arguing about dietary-supplement and general-food standards and guidelines at Codex meetings and I have seen the trend. Believe me, the trend is not your friend, not here. Here are some of the other changes:
The New Label Emphasizes Calories and Serving Size Because the FDA is still stuck in the old paradigm of nutritional mythology that says that counting calories will control obesity rates, it has decided to shove the calorie number in consumers’ faces with a much larger typeface that is also boldfaced so that no one could possibly miss seeing it.
The New Label Has Larger Serving Sizes Another proposed change would, as the FDA states, “Update serving size requirements to reflect the amounts people currently eat.” As the FDA argues, “What and how much people eat and drink has changed since the serving sizes were first put in place in 1994. By law, serving sizes must be based on what people actually eat, not on what people ‘should’ be eating.”
The New Label Mentions “Added Sugars” The current label requirement is for a mandatory declaration of sugar only. The New
Label Deletes “Calories from Fats” Recognizing that the type of fat rather than the amount is the key, the FDA has correctly proposed to delete “Calories from Fats” from the Nutrition Facts panel. Given the FDA’s fixation on spotlighting total calories, this deletion is a curious, but promising change for the Agency to make. On the other hand, the FDA still thinks that polyunsaturated fats are God’s gift to Mankind, so we have another swing and a miss.
Fluoride to be Declared Although an increasing number of people are realizing that fluoride can be a public health hazard, especially when added as mass medication to our water supplies, others still think that fluoride is, as the FDA states, a nonessential nutrient “but one with well-established benefits for the teeth.” Never mind that fluoride displaces beneficial selenium in the body, and certainly never mind that the fluoride–cavity connection is tenuous at best. With this outdated view of fluoride in mind, the FDA is proposing that fluoride content may now be disclosed—voluntarily—on food labels.
These Are Proposed Changes You will not see these changes right away. First of all,they are proposed, not final”. (Excerpted from WholeFoods Magazine, CLICK HERE to read the full article.
About Scott Tips
A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley Law School, Scott C. Tips currently practices internationally, emphasizing Food-and-Drug law, business law and business litigation, trade practice, and international corporate formation and management. He has been involved in the nutrition field for more than three decades and may be reached at (415) 244-1813 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more visit the National Health Federation