Food industry waging a bitter battle over proposal on added-sugar labels

By JoleneAL Latest Reply 2015-03-19 00:14:16 -0500
Started 2015-03-17 08:40:15 -0500

Some quotes from the article …

"The proposal being considered by the Food and Drug Administration would add a new line to labels on packaged products noting how many teaspoons of sugar had been added."

""The lack of science to justify 'added sugar' labeling sets an alarming precedent," the president of the Sugar Assn., Andrew Briscoe, wrote the administration.

Opponents warn of a slippery slope that starts with sugar but doesn't end there. Any number of ingredients could be targeted next as a de facto warning to consumers, they say."

""Consumers already have the information they need to make healthy dietary choices," the Dairy Institute of California wrote in lengthy objections to the administration's plan. Among the trade association's many warnings to the FDA is that coveted trade secrets of the flavored-milk industry would be disclosed if dairies were forced to reveal how many teaspoons of sugar were added to each carton."

I am in the camp of total labeling of ALL ingredients in processed/packaged food .. period. People need to know what they're buying.


9 replies

GabbyPA 2015-03-19 00:14:16 -0500 Report

I don't get it. If the label already says total carbohydrates and then also breaks it down into how many grams come from sugar, why tell people how many teaspoons of sugar are added? That seems redundant to me and if you don't care enough to know what ingredients are sugars, then you probably don't care enough to read how many teaspoons of sugar are in what you are consuming. Just sayin'

They may as well tell you how to make it, recipe included. That is what many food companies are trying to avoid. While I do want to know what I am eating, I also know if I cannot pronounce it or if it has more than 5 ingredients, it generally doesn't make it into my shopping cart.

I do understand the issue mentioned below about "natural flavors", but that is not what's being addressed in this legislation.

lilleyheidi 2015-03-18 01:24:05 -0500 Report

I, mostly, agree that the labeling is a good thing. Mostly, because as Steve said, it will add to the already high cost of food, and it will not really change the behaviors of those who are not reading the labels, the ones who need to be. For those of us who are label readers, it won't change much either, we already know what is in most of those foods. Like Pegsy, I eat my foods as whole and real and close to the source as possible so I don't worry much about it, but the things i do purchase premade, I do read the labels, and do worry about those things. I'd like to see this change made.

Pegsy 2015-03-17 17:34:35 -0500 Report

I agree with complete, understandable, labeling of all ingredients in processed/packaged foods. With that said, I avoid most of them. I prefer to buy and consume whole, real foods as close to their source as possible. But if I buy something such as yogurt or whole grain bread, I would appreciate an honest, complete, understandable, properly measured list of ingredients.

Jibber Jabber
Jibber Jabber 2015-03-17 13:49:01 -0500 Report

I believe in full disclosure when it comes to food labels…and that includes GMO products…with coke now saying their products can be part of a healthy diet..(gag)…people need to be able to decide for themselves..and they can not do that if 1) labels are not clear and 2) ALL ingredients are not listed..what the hell is in a "natural flavor" anyway…These measures wont stop many people, those who for the most part don't care what they eat, from buying products…but for those of us who do care and do take notice..more information is better…

JoleneAL 2015-03-17 14:07:01 -0500 Report

Natural my ass .. I don't trust them at all .. and Coke should only be used to clean out the skin.

jayabee52 2015-03-17 11:18:40 -0500 Report

Howdy Jolene
I also am in the camp of revealing what is hidden in the fine print of the ingredient labels. It needs done for more than mere sucrose (table sugar) but also for ingredients like HFCS.

Big food, IMHO gets away with too much and hides info in the "mice type" of ingredient labels.

Like steve, I agree that what we need is to get the consumer to pick up the package and to scrutinize it. I admit to doing that only sometimes.

God's best to you and yours


haoleboy 2015-03-17 10:40:26 -0500 Report

The amount of sugar is already on all packaged foods in the US. The issue is not the labeling, but the public's ignorance of nutrition.
The FDA/s proposed changes to the Nutrition Fact Label is a good idea ( and it addresses the issue of added sugars.
What is really needed is to get the consumer to pick up the package and look at the label, and to understand what it means, Not convinced that a "warning label" that lists the amount of added sugar in teaspoons is helpful or even meaningful … plus it will serve to continue the ever increasing cost of food,


JoleneAL 2015-03-17 14:05:25 -0500 Report

A lot of people look at Sugar, XX grams and think that's okay for them, but never look at what is passed off as sugar in the ingredients!

haoleboy 2015-03-17 14:29:36 -0500 Report

Sugar is sugar. the current nutrition labels list total sugar in grams whether it be dextrose, dextran, fructose, sucrose, lactose or any of the hundred other names of sweeteners.
But as I said education is key. For most people consumption of sugar is safe, not everyone is diabetic, so XX grams of sugar may be perfectly okay for them. The problem is not the sugar its the fact that people are eating a tremendous amount of highly processed foods. Provide the education. If people choose to ignore it, well that is the price we pay for living in a "free" society.