FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 7, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Sugar Association applauds U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb for his September 6, 2018, statement recognizing the need to revisit the yet to be implemented rule requiring labeling of added sugars for single-ingredient sweeteners such as sugar, honey and maple syrup on the new Nutrition Facts Label (NFL).

“The Commissioner’s statement acknowledges the inaccuracy and potential confusion of the agency’s initial rule requiring added sugars labeling for single-ingredient pure sweeteners like sugar, honey and maple syrup. We are hopeful FDA recognizes that the most accurate label is one where retail bags and boxes of sugar state 0 grams added sugars,” the Sugar Association President and CEO Dr. Courtney Gaine said. “There should be no added sugars listed for individual packages of pure sugar because nothing is added to pure sugar.”

Consumer findings support FDAs revisiting the label regulation for single-ingredient sweeteners. According to recent research1, 90% of consumers incorrectly interpreted FDA’s current labeling plan to mean that sugars are added to pure sugar and 69% thought that a bag or box of sugar was not a “pure” product.

While FDA has proposed a disclaimer for honey and maple syrup, stating that the added sugars in honey and maple syrup are naturally occurring, consumer research shows that this fix does not clear up confusion. Additionally, while sugar, honey and maple syrup are all pure, single ingredient products, the proposed disclaimer is only applicable to honey and maple syrup. Final labeling guidance should be the same for all pure single-ingredient sweeteners.

“The simple fact is that there are no added sugars in sugar,” Dr. Gaine said. “Sugar is extracted from plants; it is a pure, single ingredient product with nothing added to it.”

1   The Sugar Perceptions survey was conducted with a representative sample of 1,049 U.S. consumers. The sample was balanced to reflect the U.S. population demographically and geographically. The survey used five different Nutrition Facts labels and tested consumers’ comprehension to each of them alone as well in comparison with others.

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The Sugar Association, founded in 1943, is the scientific voice of the U.S. sugar industry. The association is committed to making a difference by continuously supporting scientific research and sharing its knowledge that there’s more to sugar by increasing consumer understanding of and confidence in the role that sugar plays in a nutritious, balanced and enjoyable diet. The Sugar Association represents nearly 12,000 beet and cane sugar growers, as well as processors and refiners of sugar. The U.S. sugar industry generates 142,000 jobs in 22 states and contributes $20 billion to the economy annually. For more information, visit www.sugar.org, follow us on Twitter, and connect with us on Facebook.

 

MEDIA CONTACT:
Chris Hogan
Vice President of Communications
E: hogan@sugar.org
T: 202.785.1122

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