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FDA seeks comments on front-of-package labeling, shelf-tag symbols

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on April 28 asked for comments and information from the public and other interested parties about front-of-package nutrition labeling and on shelf tags in retail stores.

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The FDA is seeking public participation as it deliberates about how to enhance the usefulness to consumers of point-of-purchase nutrition information. This includes information on the main display panel of food products, called “front-of-pack” labeling, as well as information on shelf tags in retail stores. The FDA is seeking to learn more about the following:

• the extent to which consumers notice, use, and understand nutrition symbols on front-of-pack labeling of food packages or on shelf tags in retail stores
• research that assesses and compares the effectiveness of particular approaches to front-of-pack labeling
• graphic design, marketing, and advertising data and information that can help develop better point-of-purchase nutrition information
• how point-of-purchase information may affect decisions by food manufacturers to reformulate products.

The front-of-pack nutrition labeling effort aims to maximize the number of consumers who readily notice, understand, and use point-of-purchase information to make nutritious choices for themselves and their families.

The FDA is accepting comments until July 28, 2010. Written comments may be sent to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305) Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061, Rockville Md., 20852.

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