Thursday, October 20, 2011

GMA on IOM report on front of package labeling

Grocery Manufacturers Association Statement in Response to the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Examination of Front-of-Package Nutrition Rating Systems and Symbols Report

(Washington, D.C.) America’s food and beverage companies have a strong commitment to providing consumers with the innovative products, tools and information they need to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

In January, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) launched Facts Up Front, a fact-based front of pack nutrition labeling system to help busy consumers – especially parents – make informed decisions when they shop.

Facts Up Front was developed through extensive consumer testing that showed consumers want fact-based information on calories, saturated fat, sugar and sodium, and where appropriate, nutrients to encourage.

The Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Examination of Front-of-Package Nutrition Rating Systems and Symbols report adds a perspective to the national dialogue about front-of-pack nutrition labeling. In the meantime, food and beverage companies have developed a real-world program that delivers real value to real consumers in real time.
Consumers have told us that they want simple and easy to use information and that they should be trusted to make decisions for themselves and their families. The most effective programs are those that consumers embrace, and consumers have said repeatedly that they want to make their own judgments, rather than have government tell them what they should and should not eat. That is the guiding principle of Facts Up Front, and why we have concerns about the untested, interpretive approach suggested by the IOM committee.

Everyone – industry, government, parents, schools, communities and healthcare professionals – share the goal of solving childhood obesity within a generation. That is why food and beverage companies continue to develop and implement innovative and responsible products and tools that help consumers eat a healthy diet.

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