The Sugar Association – representing 142,000 sugar beet and cane growers, processors and refiners in the US – has filed a citizen petition asking the FDA to require more transparent labelling of low-and no-calorie sweeteners on food and drink packaging.
With its petition, the association has asked the FDA to issue official industry guidance in terms of labelling the use of sweeteners to end misleading practices and ensure that consumers are well informed.
Currently, non-nutritive sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharin and stevia are required to be identified by their chemical name on the ingredient list. However, the association is asking for the term “sweetener” to be included in parentheses after the chemical name.
In addition, it is requesting that for children’s food and beverages, the type and quantity of non-nutritive sweeteners should be indicated in milligrams per serving on the front of the packages.
For products with a no/low/reduced sugar claim, the association wants disclosures saying what the items are sweetened with. It has also asked for potential gastrointestinal side effects from the consumption of sugar alcohols and sugar substitutes to be included.
According to The Sugar Association, its recent research found that given a list of food additives, consumers correctly identified sweetening ingredients 37% of the time.
“Consumers deserve to know what is in their food so they can make informed decisions for themselves and their families,” said Courtney Gaine, president and CEO of the Sugar Association.
She continued: “These changes by FDA will bring the complete transparency in sweetener labelling that we know consumers want, deserve and should expect.
“These changes are necessary to close a gap in food labelling, but most importantly, they are necessary to provide consumers with complete transparency and accurate information about the contents of the products they buy and eat.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020
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