Domestic Sugar Wars

Sharon Ronberts Attorney FLWhile my site tends to focus strictly on information regarding pharmaceutical compliance based in Florida, the FDA has recently made headlines for proposed changes to how added sugars are labeled in processed foods that we consume. While food labeling and drug labeling are different processes, it is interesting to observe the process and the reaction of the public on a non-pharma product.

The new proposed changes to the Nutrition Facts label began in March of 2014 and the supplemental rules were proposed in the July update of 2015. ONe of the points in particular of this second set of proposed changes has caused quite a stir and swept the headlines. With this proposed change, the FDA claims that the percent daily value for added sugars should be included on the nUtrition Facts label for foods that are packaged. This sort of additional information would arm consumers with more information about the nutritional value (or perhaps absence therein) of the sugar content added to these foods. Although this information is similar to that which consumers have been seeing for years, this sort of nutritional value expansion has never been included in packaging since the Nutrition Facts label was first mandated in the early ‘90s.

The %DV, or percent daily value reflects the how much a particular nutrient in a food serving contributes to the daily diet of the average consumer. Currently the %DV is based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet. With this added section revealing the amount daily value of sugars added, would also be a recommendation stating that a daily diet should not include more than 10% of daily calories from added sugars.
Though much has been written about this proposed change, the secondary amendment to the proposal regarding an updated footnote has not garnered nearly the same level of attention. In this proposed amendment , packaged foods would require that packaged foods include information regarding %DV in a form that is a bit more accessible in understanding to the average consumer.