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FDA sweetens 'jelly bean rule'

Prompted by food manufacturers, FDA is proposing to exempt certain sugar-free candies from the agency's so-called "jelly bean rule" to allow a health claim on the label.

Such a claim could state that the product does not promote tooth decay. The exemption is specifically for foods sweetened with sugar alcohols, such as certain sugar-free gums and candies. As it currently stands, the "jelly bean rule" prohibits health claims for a food product unless the product provides at least 10% of the Reference Daily Intake or Daily Reference Value for one or more of several nutrients. The National Food Processors Association (NFPA) wants FDA to go even further and do away entirely with the minimum nutrient content requirement for making health claims.

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