Addition of “Added Sugars” in FDA’s Proposed Nutrition Labeling 
Ignores the Preponderance of Science

The following statement can be attributed to Andrew C. Briscoe, President and CEO, the Sugar Association:

We share the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and First Lady Michelle Obama’s concerns about obesity and its detriment to long-term health. We wholeheartedly agree that nutrient-rich foods, like fruits and vegetables, should be the centerpiece of a healthy diet. We also endorse rigorous scientific research that provides the meaningful and unambiguous data required for labeling guidance.

Therefore, we question the scientific justification to support “added sugars” labeling. Major reviews of the scientific literature, including those undertaken by the Institute of Medicine and the European Food Safety Authority did not find a public health need to make this distinction in the Nutrition Facts Panel (NFP).

“Added sugars” labeling will only distract from the focus on monitoring total caloric intake and scientifically verified interventions to deal with obesity. Consequently, the addition of the “added sugars” subcategory will not be helpful to consumers, and lacks scientific merit.

Further, we are also surprised the FDA proposed a subcategory of “added sugars” on the food label when it has previously stated that it will not be able to test food or beverage products to determine the content of “added sugars” and that “it should not promulgate regulations that it cannot enforce.” The proposed subcategory is also problematic in that the term “added sugars” inaccurately lumps together sugar (sucrose) with other caloric sweeteners, when there are well recognized differences between such sweeteners.

Historically, and world-wide, sugar has been and will continue to be an important ingredient in our diets. Sugar is all natural and has been consumed safely for over 2,000 years. We look forward to providing FDA with comments during the comment period.

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