A group of US lawmakers have tabled plans to “revise” the country’s food labeling regulations.
The 2021 Food Labeling Modernization Act was tabled in the House and Senate to update the rules for front labels and ingredient lists.
One of the leaders behind the proposal, Democratic Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, said the plan would “give food labeling requirements an important and long overdue overhaul”.
She added, “Food labels should provide a clear, accurate and fair representation of the product, and that is just not the case right now.”
Under the plans, the US government would establish a unified standard system of nutrition labeling on the front of the package “in good time for all food that is required to carry nutrition labeling,” according to lawmakers.
Proponents of the bill say it “will also strengthen existing law to combat trends in marketing that confuse or mislead consumers when trying to compare foods,” said a statement accompanying the proposals. “In particular, the legislation will require new guidelines for the use of the word ‘healthy’.”
“The current labels are a confusing maze and do not provide consumers with important, useful information,” said Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal. “The law on the modernization of food labeling ensures that portion sizes are updated, allergens are clearly labeled and nutritional information is transparent.
Consumer associations have welcomed the move. Dr. Peter Lurie, president of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, said the new version of the law, first introduced in 2018, would “include a new language targeting emerging trends in food marketing”. For example, he added that “the country’s outdated labeling laws do not require nutritional information at the online point of sale.”
Just Food asked the US food industry trade organization The Consumer Brands Association for a comment. The organization said, “Consumer Brands is reviewing the details of this bill. We will continue to work with all federal partners, including Congress and regulators, to drive smart regulation forward. ”