Grocery Manufacturers Assn. expresses concern over untested interpretive approach to front-of-package nutrition labeling by the Institute of Medicine committee

Andrew Rogers

Andrew Rogers

Oct 21, 2011 – PRNewswire

WASHINGTON , October 21, 2011 (press release) – 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.

Based in Washington, D.C., the Grocery Manufacturers Association is the voice of more than 300 leading food, beverage and consumer product companies that sustain and enhance the quality of life for hundreds of millions of people in the United States and around the globe.

Founded in 1908, GMA is an active, vocal advocate for its member companies and a trusted source of information about the industry and the products consumers rely on and enjoy every day. The association and its member companies are committed to meeting the needs of consumers through product innovation, responsible business practices and effective public policy solutions developed through a genuine partnership with policymakers and other stakeholders.

In keeping with its founding principles, GMA helps its members produce safe products through a strong and ongoing commitment to scientific research, testing and evaluation and to providing consumers with the products, tools and information they need to achieve a healthy diet and an active lifestyle. The food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industry in the United States generates sales of $2.1 trillion annually, employs 14 million workers and contributes $1 trillion in added value to the economy every year.

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