On April 26, House Energy Commerce Committee Member Pallone (D-NJ) and Senator Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced the Food Labeling Modernization Act of 2023 (FLMA). The bill would update front-of-package food labeling requirements, require updates to the ingredient list on packaged foods, and apply consumer friendly labeling requirements. As our readers may recall, a similar bill was introduced in the House in 2021.
FLMA’s initiative would direct FDA to establish a standard front-of-package nutrition labeling system for all of the packaged foods it regulates to complement the Nutrition Facts panel and clearly convey when high levels of sodium, added sugar, or saturated fat are present in foods. As reported by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, similar requirements have already been implemented in several countries, including Canada, Ecuador, and Chile.
FLMA would amend “standards of identity” to allow salt substitution across all packaged foods, which purportedly would enable the food industry to contribute to a national sodium reduction effort by swapping out sodium from standardized foods. FLMA would also update the labeling laws to require that the same Nutrition Facts, ingredient, and allergen information now on packages be available for online grocery items.
Further, FLMA includes several provisions aimed at addressing supposedly misleading claims that undermine health, such as whole grain, fruit, and vegetable claims. FLMA would additionally require clear disclosure for certain ingredients of public health importance such as caffeine in excess of 10mg per serving and gluten-containing grains.
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