U.S – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has extended the deadline for commenting on a pioneering research endeavor focusing on “Quantitative Research on Front of Package Labeling on Packaged Foods” to 11:59 PM on Wednesday, July 26, 2023.

Originally initiated on June 15, 2023, the 30-day comment period encountered technical challenges with the comment submission portal. In light of this setback, Individuals interested in shaping the future of food labeling can now actively participate by submitting their comments on the FDA’s website.

The study represents a crucial component of the National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, introduced during the White House Conference in September 2022.

Aimed at addressing hunger and reducing diet-related diseases, the strategy emphasizes the development of a front-of-package labeling scheme, complementing the existing Nutrition Facts label on packaged foods.

The FDA firmly believes that front-of-package labeling can empower consumers, particularly those with limited nutrition knowledge, to make healthier food choices with ease.

By adopting a standardized, science-based labeling system, individuals can gain valuable context when identifying nutritious food options, ultimately contributing to the fight against chronic diseases linked to poor dietary decisions.

Evidence from countries that have already implemented front-of-package labeling schemes offers promising insights. These experiences suggest that such labeling systems can significantly enhance nutrition comprehension and enable more informed, health-conscious choices.

“The U.S. continues to face an epidemic of diet-related chronic diseases, many of which disproportionately affect racial and ethnic minority groups, individuals with lower socioeconomic status, and those residing in rural areas,” states the FDA’s press release.

“To address this pressing concern, the FDA remains committed to prioritizing its nutrition activities and empowering consumers with valuable information to make informed and healthier food choices.”

The comment period represents a pivotal platform for the public to actively engage with the FDA’s proposed consumer research and contribute their unique viewpoints.

As the FDA presses forward with its research and collects vital input from stakeholders, anticipation builds regarding the potential impact of a well-designed front-of-package labeling scheme on fostering healthier eating habits and reducing the burden of diet-related chronic diseases.

The World Health Organization (WHO) last year recommended the introduction of the Nutri-Score, a front-of-pack label developed by the French national public health agency, to replace the antiquated back of packaging labeling.

The label uses color coding to give at a glance information on the nutritional quality of food and beverages, a technology already applied in countries such as the U.K. and France.

The FDA’s commitment to prioritizing nutrition activities and promoting informed choices resonates with health advocates and stakeholders alike.

By leveraging the power of information and public engagement, the agency takes significant strides towards a healthier future for all Americans.

The call for public comments stands as an invitation for citizens to become active agents in shaping the way food is labeled, unlocking a promising pathway towards healthier lifestyles and well-being.

For all the latest food safety news from Africa and the World, subscribe to our NEWSLETTER, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel.