More media issue inflation?

A recent report in the New York Times faulting nutrient content figures on packaged pre-cut vegetables and fruits was another case of media attention to what FDA considers a low-priority issue, said FDA food labeling director Dr.

Ed Scarborough. Consumer demand and media attention sometimes force FDA to give greater priority to specific labeling issues than it might otherwise, he said. As another example, he cited recent charges by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) that some food labels were misleading, implying products contained ingredients in greater amounts than they actually did. FDA, said Dr. Scarborough, sees it as an economic issue on how products should be named, while CSPI is trying to make it a public health issue. "It would not be high on FDA's priority list except for CSPI's campaign," he said.

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