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Proposed rule could help consumers make informed food choices

newspaperThe USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service has proposed an amendment to nutrition labeling regulations for meat and poultry products.

The FSIS website says the proposed changes will “better reflect the most recent scientific research and dietary recommendations” and improve the presentation of nutrition information to help consumers.

The proposed changes to the nutrition facts panel “will complement the many other proactive, prevention-based food policies that we’ve put in place in recent years,” said Alfred Almanza, deputy undersecretary for food safety at USDA.

Among FSIS recommendations are the following:

  • Update the list of nutrients that are required;
  • provide updated Daily Reference Values that are based on dietary recommendations from consensus reports;
  • amend the labeling requirements for foods recommended for children under 4 and for pregnant and lactating women, and establish nutrient reference values specifically for those population subgroups;
  • revise the appearance of the nutrition facts label by increasing the type size for calories, servings per container and the serving size declarations, and bolding the number of calories and the serving size declaration; and
  • amend the definition of a single-serving container.

“These changes would enhance the current nutrition labels and make it easier for consumers to see just how healthy meat and poultry products are,” noted Tony Banks, assistant director of commodity marketing for the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation.

Consumers are invited to comment on the changes through Feb. 1, and can read the full document atbit.ly/2ggD2Wm.

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