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MANDATORY USE OF DAILY VALUES ON FOOD NUTRITION LABELS OF NO BENEFIT TO CONSUMERS, SAYS NFPA

 MANDATORY USE OF DAILY VALUES ON FOOD NUTRITION LABELS
 OF NO BENEFIT TO CONSUMERS, SAYS NFPA
 WASHINGTON, July 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The mandatory inclusion of Daily Values on food nutrition labels would be of little or no benefit to most consumers, according to the National Food Processors Association (NFPA).
 The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing to adopt a new format for presenting nutrition information on food packaging. The new format would mandate the inclusion of Daily Values on all food nutrition labels, so that consumers could tell "how individual foods fit within general recommendations for the total daily diet," according to FDA's filing. Alternative formats for labels will be published in the July 20 Federal Register.
 Under FDA's proposal, labels would show the level of nutrients contained in a "typical" diet. In theory, consumers could relate the nutrition content of a given food product to these Daily Values.
 "This complex nutrition information cannot be communicated on a food label," said NFPA President John R. Cady. "Consumer understanding is a function of education, not food labeling.
 NFPA, in its Food Label Education Project, is developing materials that will help consumers understand and personalize these Daily Values."
 Research conducted recently by the food industry demonstrated that most consumers do not understand how to use Daily Values on food labels. For example, many consumers feel that the Daily Values are dietary advice, not reference points.
 "Daily Values should not be, and are not meant to be, standard for all consumers," Cady pointed out. "If some people consume 2,350 calories a day -- the reference point for Daily Values -- they will gain a pound a week. Others will lose weight on such a diet. Clearly, consumers must learn that these Daily Values are not meant as guidance for the precise nutrient levels they should consume."
 Requiring that Daily Values be included on all food labels could also have the unintended effect of making some labels -- particularly on small packages with limited label space -- harder to read. Because Daily Values are constants, NFPA supports their optional inclusion on nutrition labels.
 "It is unnecessary for all labels to contain this information," Cady noted. "The information does not vary; therefore, it will be widely available for consumers."
 NFPA is the scientific voice of the food industry. Its 500 members produce the nation's processed-packaged fruits and vegetables, meat and poultry, seafood, juices and drinks, and specialty products.
 -0- 7/15/92
 /CONTACT: Timothy Willard of the National Food Processors Association, 202-637-8060/ CO: National Food Processors Association; Food and Drug
 Administration ST: District of Columbia IN: SU:


DC -- DC012 -- 9665 07/15/92 15:26 EDT
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Jul 15, 1992
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