Industry Abandons Smart Choices!
The Connecticut Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal, announced yesterday that all eight food companies involved in the Smart Choices program have agreed to drop out pending his investigation and the FDA’s decision about front-of-package labeling.
- Food manufacturers now realize that continued use of the logo would only mislead and compound consumer confusion. Other food labels richly deserve the same scrutiny — which we will give them with relish.
- My investigation into Smart Choices, now supported by the FDA, continues to seek any scientific research or evidence behind a program that promotes mayonnaise, sugar-loaded cereal and ice cream as Smart Choices.
- Many in the food and beverage industry have sugarcoated their labels — diverting and distracting consumers from nutrition truth, and pushing them toward obesity and disease. Self responsibility and good parenting are key to healthy lifestyles, but impossible when food manufacturers misguide them.
- Our initiative should send a message to other food manufacturers that labeling must be completely truthful and accurate without hype or spin, especially when appealing to children. I am strongly encouraged by interest in our investigation by other attorneys general who can form a powerful coalition against misleading or deceptive food labeling.
Keep an eye out for what other city and state attorneys will be doing about food labels. FDA: get busy!
About the author
Marion Nestle is Paulette Goddard Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health and Professor of Sociology at New York University. Her degrees include a Ph.D. in molecular biology and an M.P.H. in public health nutrition, both from the University of California, Berkeley.
She is the author of Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health, Safe Food: Bacteria, Biotechnology, and Bioterrorism and What to Eat.
You can read her Food Politics blog here: