A proposal being considered by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) seems modest, but is causing a political firestorm. It would require food labels to include a line revealing how many teaspoons of added sugar the product contains. The proposal has pitted first lady Michelle Obama and the White House against the food industry, many politicians, and even foreign nations (the Australian government has warned that the policy “could violate international trade agreements”).
Those who advocate for more transparency in labeling and public policies that support healthier lifestyles aren’t surprised.
“They know this will impact how people choose their products, and that terrifies them,” said Renee Sharp, director of research for the Environmental Working Group, one of several advocacy groups campaigning for the label change.
Industry groups say that the proposed policy is not needed; labels are already required to include the total amount of sugar in a product.
If you’re interested in learning more about sugar consumption and its impact on human health, you may wish to visit SugarScience, a website collaboratively managed by faculty and researchers from UC San Francisco, UC Davis and Emory University. SugarScience is a definitive source of evidence-based, scientific information about sugar and its impact on health.