The IOM committee recommends a point system based on levels of saturated and trans fats and sugars that can be clearly displayed on foods
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) just released its second report on front-of-package (FOP) labeling. It tells FDA to allow only four items in any front-of-package evaluation scheme:
- Saturated and trans fat
To display this, the IOM committee recommends a point system based on levels of saturated and trans fats, sodium, and sugars for evaluating food products. The points are to be indicated with check marks or stars. Here is an example of how stars might be used to indicate products that qualify for zero, one, two, or three points.
I'm guessing that anything this clear and understandable will elicit storms of protest.
Recall that food companies have been setting their own nutrition criteria for evaluating their very own products and identifying the "better-for-you" or "more nutritious" products with special front-of-package logos. By company standards, many of their products qualify for the logos.
To deal with the multiplicity and absurdity of such schemes, the FDA asked the IOM to take a look at the various FOP logos that were out there and recommend how to clean up the mess. The first IOM report said the FDA should allow FOP labels to state only calories, saturated and trans fat, and sodium, but not sugars (this last was a mistake, I thought).