Michelle Obama hails better food labelling plans

04th March 2014 - Fine Cut

Michelle Obama is backing plans to overhaul the current system of food labelling in the US, stating that families should be given more details about what they are eating.

The First Lady unveiled the move from the Obama administration to provide clearer information about calorie counts and which products contain added sugars, among other changes.

Under the proposals, consumers will be provided with better nutritional guidance on packaging and details of serving sizes that more accurately reflect how much people eat.

The update to the Nutrition Facts packaging label marks the most ambitious change to the US food labelling system in two decades and was unveiled as part of Mrs Obama's Let's Move campaign to combat childhood obesity.

Addressing an event at the White House, the First Lady stated: "You as a parent and a consumer should be able to walk into your local grocery store, pick up an item off the shelf and be able to tell whether it's good for your family.”

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) claims the clearer labelling rules, which are undergoing a 90-day comment period, will assist people in making healthier choices by highlighting certain elements that are key to tackling public health problems.

FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg explained: "To remain relevant, the FDA's newly proposed Nutrition Facts label incorporates the latest in nutrition science as more has been learned about the connection between what we eat and the development of serious chronic diseases impacting millions of Americans." 

The US proposals for food labels come as the European Union prepares for new labelling legislation due to come into force this December, which aims to enhance identification and traceability of products, as well as improving communication with consumers.

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