Food Label Transparency Petition

Food Label Transparency Petition

Label Transparency Petition

Campaign for Sweetener Transparency Petition to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration

I am a Registered Dietitian, Nutritionist or health and wellness professional, and I support complete and accurate labeling of low- and no-calorie sweeteners used in packaged foods.

Proper nutrition is essential to a healthy lifestyle for all children and adults seeking to maintain or achieve a healthy diet and body weight.  A healthy diet and proper nutrition can also play a vital role in preventing various diseases and diminishing symptoms when ill.

When it comes to alternative sweeteners, the facts are clear. The use of artificial and low- and no-calorie sweeteners in food and beverages has surged more than 300% in the last five years. Once used primarily as a tabletop sweetener, alternative sweeteners are now everywhere in the food supply–in bread, cereal, granola bars, yogurt, ice cream, milk and children’s beverages.

We need to know everything about the food we eat to make nutritious choices, including where products come from, what’s in them, and how they were made. We need to know this information to best support the clients and patients (who are often overwhelmed and confused) we serve. Unfortunately, even as a health professional, it is difficult for me to know enough about alternative sweeteners in the foods I choose for myself, let alone the clients I see, because the FDA’s labeling requirements for these foods is not clear or consumer friendly.

For instance, it is hard to tell why ingredients like Xylitol, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysates, Saccharin, Acesulfame Potassium, Neotame, Isomalt and Lactitol are in my food and in what quantity because the FDA only requires food manufacturers to list the chemical name of these ingredients on my food labels. 

It’s also hard to know if products marketed as “reduced sugar” are actually better for me, my family, my clients, and the public because these claims are often misleading. Sometimes, I think I’m just getting a product with less sugar, but it turns out I’m also unexpectedly getting sugar substitutes too! Other times, “Reduced Sugar” peanut butters actually have more calories than the regular versions. I find that my clients often rely on marketing claims to make decisions about food choices and struggle with conflicting information in the marketplace.

We deserve to have clear information about what is in our food. It shouldn’t be confusing for me or my clients. Transparency is key for helping consumers make informed food decisions for our health and wellness. We need clear, simple, and easy to understand information about alternative sweeteners in our food, and we need it now. The FDA should:

I urge the FDA to enact sweeping, meaningful reform of sugar substitute labeling on food packages now, so that all consumers have complete and transparent information about alternative sweeteners in their food.

Campaign for Sweetener Transparency is an initiative of the Sugar Association:




Food Label Transparency Petition
Nutrition Policy

Nutrition Labeling

Since there is nothing added to sugar, bags and boxes of sugar are exempt from bearing a grams of added sugars declaration.

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