Nutritional label fine-tuning

FDA is very pleased with all aspects of its food labeling requirements under the Nutrition Labeling Education Act (NLEA), said Dr. Ed Scarborough, director of FDA's office of food labeling.

Speaking at a public policy conference sponsored by the United Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Association (UFFVA) in late September, Dr. Scarborough said company compliance is high, labels are accurate and consumers are making more purchasing decisions based on the nutrition label. FDA's focus, said Dr. Scarborough, is now shifting to the educational aspects of the Act, mainly by developing partnerships with private sector entities to help raise awareness of the label. FDA also is taking steps to refine regulations, especially in the area of nutrient numbers, and serving sizes. Also under development is a definition for complex carbohydrates. Other labeling issues under consideration: labeling of organic produce, and biotech foods.

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