The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is being called on by 17 organisations to develop nutrition labels for high levels of unhealthy nutrients on the front of food packaging.

The 17 organisations include the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Public Health Association, Consumer Federation of America, and Consumer Reports.

The FDA opened a regulatory docket in response to a petition filed in August 2022 by the Centre for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), the Association of State SNAP Nutrition Education Administrators, and the Association of State Public Health Nutritionists. 

The 17 organisations wrote: “We are dismayed that the United States has become one of the nations with the greatest need for, but scantest action on, such public health nutrition interventions.

“The time has come for FDA to take bold action to improve our nation’s diet and health. Please prioritise this evidence-based policy and develop a mandatory front-of-package labelling system for the United States.”

In 2022, the Biden administration endorsed the push for front-of-package nutrition labels in its National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition and Health.

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CSPI president Dr Peter G. Lurie said: “It’s worth remembering that the food industry opposed Nutrition Facts labels when they were first proposed, variously claiming they would violate the First Amendment, confuse consumers, and be too expensive for the industry. Industry arguments against nutrition labelling on packaged foods ring as hollow today as they did 35 years ago.” 

Front-of-package labels are also critical for allergy warnings. In March 2023, the heads of 11 leading UK food businesses penned an open letter to the Government calling for clearer rules on food labelling.