False Food Labeling

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has sent a report to the FDA charging several food and beverage manufacturers with mislabeling their products. CSPI also recommends reforming package labeling format, especially the nutrition information and ingredient lists.

CSPI Charges Brands With Mislabeling In FDA Report
Karlene Lukovitz

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has sent a 158-page report to the Food and Drug Administration, documenting its case for food labeling standards reform — including numerous examples of specific instances of what it maintains are "false claims, ingredient obfuscations and other labeling shenanigans" by major food and beverage brands.

"Though under the Obama Administration the FDA is sending more warning letters to food manufacturers about misleading labeling, many major companies, including Coca-Cola, Kellogg, Kraft, General Mills and Nestlé, continue to confuse or defraud consumers about the health effects, ingredients, or ‘natural’-ness of their products," the nonprofit health advocacy organization charged in a press release announcing the report.

The report, "Food Labeling Chaos — The Case for Reform" (downloadable at cspinet.org), details CSPI’s recommendations for new front-of-package nutrition labeling and revisions of the Nutrition Facts Panel and ingredients label format.

Among other reforms, CSPI is asking the FDA to prohibit "qualified" health claims for foods — claims that can be made in the context of disclaimers stating that supporting scientific evidence is uncertain, as opposed to outright "health claims" that must meet a "significant scientific agreement" standard.

The numerous examples of foods and beverages that CSPI charges are engaging in misleading labeling claims include Kellogg’s Smart Start Strawberry Oat Bites and Kashi Heart to Heart Instant Oatmeal; Nestlé’s Carnation Instant Breakfast and Edy’s ice cream; Coca-Cola’s Minute Maid Active Orange Juice, Minute Maid Cranberry Apple Cocktail and Glacéau Vitaminwater; Bimbo Bakeries USA’s Thomas’ Hearty Grains English Muffins; and Gerber Graduates Juice Treats.

Click to read this article on the MediaPostPublications.com website.

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