In its first overhaul in 20 years, the FDA is planning a significant update of its nutrition facts panel.
The FDA said the changes are necessary to keep pace with the science of nutrition, including the link between diet and chronic diseases such as obesity and heart disease. The new label also features more realistic serving sizes, and more prominently highlights calories.
Some of the changes to the label the FDA proposed today would:
"Unless you had a thesaurus, a microscope, a calculator or a degree in nutrition, you were out of luck," said Michelle Obama at a White House event Thursday on deciphering the current label. "So you felt defeated, and you just went back to buying the same stuff."
The administration estimates that the relabeling could cost the industry $2 billion to implement but will result in $20 billion to $30 billion in benefits over 20 years.
The FDA hopes the change will prompt the food industry to reformulate many products. The food industry has previously protested the "added sugars" line and may lobby to delay the changes.
"We are not just changing the presentation of information," Stuart Pape, a lawyer at Patton Boggs who represents food companies, told the Washington Post. "It is about as far-reaching in the food industry as one can envision."
How would you rate the proposed changes to the FDA's nutritional facts panel?