Smart Choices Labeling System Halted

Officials from the Smart Choices nutrition labeling program (EN, September 2009) announced on October 23, 2009 that the program has been voluntarily postponed. A collaborative effort between food manufacturers and nutrition experts, the Smart Choices voluntary, front-of-pack labeling program (www.smartchoicesprogram.com) was developed with the goal of helping consumers make healthier choices in the supermarket. A set of nutritional criteria were established by the Smart Choices team in order for food product labels to carry the green Smart Choice box with check mark. But the program had received its share of criticism for allowing processed, sugary foods such as children’s sweetened breakfast cereals to carry the Smart Choice label. The move to postpone the program followed the Food and Drug Administration’s announcement that they will be addressing standardized nutritional criteria for front-of-package and supermarket shelf labeling systems.

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