business news in context, analysis with attitude

Axios reports that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is ready to roll out new regulations governing how food marketers can use the word "healthy," proposing a new, 105-page rule that ""would align the definition of the 'healthy' claim with current nutrition science."

In a statement, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said, "“Healthy food can lower our risk for chronic disease. But too many people may not know what constitutes healthy food.  FDA’s move will help educate more Americans to improve health outcomes, tackle health disparities and save lives.” 

Axios goes on to say that the new rule would require that foods labeled as healthy have to contain "a certain meaningful amount of food 'from at least one of the food groups or subgroups,' such as fruits, vegetables and dairy," and "contain limited amounts of saturated fat, sodium and added sugars. For example, a 'healthy' item cannot have more than 10% of the daily recommended amount of sodium per serving."

The story notes that "the move appears targeted at certain items, like sugary cereal, that claim to be good for you."

Roberta Wagner, vice president of regulatory and technical affairs for Consumer Brands Association, said that the organization supports "efforts to enhance consumer choice and transparency … The definition is a first step that should be tested over time to ensure its intent of informing healthy choices is being met."

KC's View:

Seems to me that insuring that aligning the definition of the 'healthy' claim with current nutrition science makes a lot of sense, and is laudable.

I hope that bested interests within the food industry don't look for loopholes and spend a lot of lobbying money in an effort to water down the proposed regulations to the point where they no longer are meaningful.  Not saying that there won't be pieces in the 105 pages that will be out of touch with reality … but there is a difference between making sure that rules are effective and realistic and trying to find ways to circumvent them and mislead the public in the search for profit.