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Government Addresses Food Label Clarity

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Government Addresses Food Label Clarity

A new report issued by Congress suggests food manufacturers should come up with an intuitive and easy-to-understand universal labeling system.

Congress recommended that the United States Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration work together to develop a standardized labeling system that makes it easier for consumers to grasp the healthiness of products. The Institute of Medicine asserts that every grocery product should have the calorie count of a single serving size featured on the front, along with a health score.

"Saturated and trans fats, sodium and added sugars should form the basis of the symbol system. The committee developed an approach to evaluate saturated and trans fats, and sodium — nutrients strongly associated with the most pressing diet-related health concerns, and added sugars," the report notes.

After such a system has been implemented, the Institute of Medicine advocates a watchdog organization be appointed to ensure food manufacturers abide by it.

Grocery organizations have already developed a similar system called Facts Up Front, but participation is currently voluntary. The government program would require producers to include the nutritional information.