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FDA May Require Companies to Change Misleading Labels
Thursday, November 20, 2003 12:29 AM ET

In the government's latest move to stem the growing problem of obesity, the Food and Drug Administration is seriously considering a change in food labels to spell out nutrition information for the entire package, not just for sometimes- misleading "serving sizes," Thursday's Wall Street Journal reported.

Such a move could represent the biggest change in the current labeling system since it went into effect following a 1990 law. It would answer concerns that the portions sold to consumers have grown while the government's measurements of a typical serving haven't kept up. Some nutritionists have argued that the gap has left people confused about just how many calories they are eating.

It also could have an enormous impact on food companies. Label changes, which affect nearly every category of packaged food and beverages, can be expensive to implement. Industry groups said they were skeptical that any new requirement for per-package information would give enough benefit to consumers to justify the cost.

More broadly, food companies would come under pressure to downsize their products. At issue most are single-serve packages, which have mushroomed in size over the past decade or so, yet are designed to be consumed in a single sitting.

The FDA, which sets the serving size for food labeling, is looking at the idea as part of a broader antiobesity initiative that has sparked a number of ambitious proposals.

Wall Street Journal Staff Reporters Anna Wilde Mathews In Washington, Betsy Mckay In Atlanta and Sarah Ellison In New York contributed to this report.

Dow Jones Newswires
11-20-03 0029ET
I think that new labels would make it easier on people on diets. I do agree that the sinlge serverings are getting larger and larger. This would be interesting to see how the new labels will look and what the cost of products will go up to. If you see any more info about the new labels let us know.
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