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PROCESSORS DETAIL PROBLEMS WITH INITIAL FDA NUTRITION LABELING RULES

PROCESSORS DETAIL PROBLEMS WITH INITIAL FDA NUTRITION LABELING RULES
 WASHINGTON, Nov. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- The food industry today identified problems with nutrition labeling rules that will take effect by default because the Food and Drug Administration failed to meet a Nov. 8 deadline for revising proposals it made a year ago.
 The National Food Processors Association said FDA must act to change the rules it proposed in November of last year so industry can get on with the task of providing nutrition information on new food labels that will not be confusing to consumers. "No one is happy with the prospect of having FDA's original proposal go into effect -- not government, not industry and not responsible consumer groups," said NFPA President John R. Cady. "Everyone knows that FDA had made great progress in correcting the many problems in its original proposal and would have published good final rules by the deadline if there had not been a dispute within the administration over format and a few other issues," he continued.
 Cady identified these problems with the original FDA proposal that he said give the food industry and other interested groups big headaches.
 Compliance Date
 The rules require all foods to be relabeled by May 8, 1993, just six months from now. The industry has shown that it cannot meet such a tight deadline.
 Fat Declarations
 The rules would require fat and saturated fat to be declared in one-half gram increments, although the analytical method for measuring fat is not sensitive enough for such small amounts.
 Carbohydrates
 There are no analytical methods that will determine levels of complex carbohydrates or sugars as defined in the rules.
 Nutrition Profile
 The declaration requirements in the rules result in distortions of the percents of various nutrients in the "daily value" statement, where nutrients are expressed as a percentage of a 2,350 calorie per day diet.
 Duplication
 Nutrients are required to be shown twice, both as the quantity in grams or milligrams and as a percentage of the daily value, resulting in a label that will be difficult to fit on a number of food packages.
 Cady said FDA should use the comments on its proposals to clean up these and other problems. "The bottom line is that food labels must be clear and easy to understand. Unfortunately, FDA's current position on labeling leaves us with rules that will result in labels that are confusing and unclear," he concluded.
 NFPA is the scientific voice of the food industry, focusing exclusively on food issues. The association's 500 member companies produce the nation's processed-packaged fruits and vegetables, meat and poultry, seafood, juices and drinks, and specialty products.
 -0- 11/10/92
 /NOTE: The nutrition label format that would be used if FDA's original proposal is allowed to stand is available by calling the contact below./
 /CONTACT: Roger Coleman of the National Food Processors Association, 202-639-5935/ CO: National Food Processors Association ST: District of Columbia IN: SU:


MH -- DC016 -- 9306 11/10/92 13:13 EST
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Date:Nov 10, 1992
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