the sugar association

June 29, 2020

Washington, D.C. – The Sugar Association today released a new consumer research report showing grocery shoppers are confused about the use of sugar substitutes in packaged food. While once limited to use as tabletop sweeteners and ingredients in diet foods, alternative sweeteners can now be found in a variety of consumer products including bread, cereals, granola bars, yogurt, ice cream, flavored milk, and children’s beverages. 1 Yet, current labeling practices do not clearly disclose their presence in consumer products. Participants in the nationally-representative survey preferred additional labeling disclosures by food companies as a remedy for the lack of transparency on labels for low- and no-calorie sweeteners.

“This research shows consumers are interested in knowing what is in their foods and realize that additional, and non-misleading, information is needed for them to make informed decisions about the food products they purchase and consume,” said Courtney Gaine, PhD, RD, President and CEO of the Sugar Association. “This data reinforces our decision to file a Citizen Petition with the FDA asking the agency to extend labeling transparency to the growing range of alternative sweeteners in the food supply.”

Key data points in the research supporting labeling for low- and no-calorie sweeteners, conducted by Quadrant Strategies for the Sugar Association, show:

Read the full research report here.

Information about sugar substitutes is just as important to consumers as information about added sugars. Food labeling is intended to help consumers make informed decisions, yet current labeling regulations fail to provide consumers accurate and clear information about the use of low- and no-calorie sweeteners.

The Sugar Association’s FDA Citizen Petition, filed on June 3, 2020, asks the FDA to require the following changes to food labeling by issuing official industry guidance supported by the Agency’s enforcement discretion:

  1. Add the term “Sweetener” in parentheses after the name of all non-nutritive sweeteners in the ingredient list.
  2. For children’s food and beverages, indicate the type and quantity of non-nutritive sweeteners, in milligrams per serving, on the front of food packages.
  3. For products making a sugar content claim (i.e. No/Low/Reduced Sugar), require the disclosure, “Sweetened with [name of Sweetener(s)]” beneath the claim.
  4. Disclose the potential gastrointestinal side effects from the consumption of sugar alcohols and some sugar substitutes in foods at the lowest observed effect levels.
  5. Ensure all sugar content claims related to sugar and sugar substitutes are truthful and non-misleading.

“Consumers deserve to know what is in their food, and these changes, when enacted, will provide shoppers with complete transparency for all sweeteners used in foods and beverages,” concluded Dr. Gaine.

  1. Sylvetsky, A. C., & Rother, K. I. (2016). Trends in the consumption of low-calorie sweeteners. Physiology & behavior, 164(Pt B), 446–450. doi:10.1016/j.physbeh.2016.03.030.

###

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 Instagram, and connect with us on Facebook.

“MEDIA CONTACT:
Steph Saullo
ssaullo@dsmstrategic.com
386-871-8697″

More Press Releases

the sugar association

New ‘Take Action’ Web Site Makes It Easy for Parents & Consumers to Tell FDA to Stop Hiding Artificial Sweeteners in Our Food

September 10, 2020

Sweeping Reform of Labeling Regulations Needed to Help Families Monitor their Intake of Sugar Substitutes September 10, 2020 Washington, D.C. – Parents and other consumers who want to reduce, eliminate or monitor their exposure to alternative sweeteners in packaged foods and beverages now have a new and easy way to demand the placement of complete, […]

the sugar association

Consumer Group Letter to FDA Supports Growing Call for FDA Action on Alternative Sweetener Labeling Reform

July 14, 2020

July 14, 2020 Washington, D.C. – The Sugar Association today applauds consumer and healthcare organizations that have reached out to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to ask that the agency require complete transparency for the labeling of low- and no-calorie sweeteners, as well as put an end to misleading sugar claims for packaged food […]

the sugar association

Alternative Sweetener Labeling on Packaged Food is Incomplete, Lacks Transparency and is Misleading; Corrective FDA Action Urgently Needed

June 3, 2020

June 3, 2020 Washington, D.C. –  The Sugar Association, representing 142,000 sugar beet and cane growers, processors and refiners in the United States, today filed a U. S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) Citizen Petition asking the Agency to require complete and accurate labeling of low- and no-calorie sweeteners on food packages, action that will […]

More Press Releases

Stay in Touch

Sign Up