MEDIA ADVISORY: Problems With Food Industry’s New Labeling System; Yale University’s Kelly Brownell Available for Comment

The food industry, through two of its major trade associations, the Food Marketing Institute and the Grocery Manufacturers of America, announced today a new front-of-package labeling system that they intend to use across a wide variety of food manufacturers.

Dr. Kelly Brownell, Director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University, believes the industry’s labeling system can be questioned on several grounds. Dr. Brownell is available to speak to reporters.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have been working to develop reports and potential guidelines for what type of nutrition information should be permitted and required on the front of food packages. “There is much at stake,” says Dr. Brownell. “Millions of people see thousands of products each day and deserve a labeling system that helps them understand nutrition information rather than misleads them.”

“I see no reason the food industry could not have waited until the FDA and the IOM made their recommendations and followed those guidelines, except that the industry fears that government would suggest a system that reflects poorly on many of its products,” explains Brownell.

“This is yet another sign that the government needs to exercise its regulatory authority and not back off.”

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Media Contact

Helen Dodson: helen.dodson@yale.edu, 203-436-3984