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Group urges crackdown on 'slack fill'

  |   April 7, 2010 at 12:07 AM
WASHINGTON, April 7 (UPI) -- Food manufacturers that fill only half of their product boxes could cut shipping costs by half if they filled their packaging, a U.S. advocacy group says.

Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of The Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington, says the food industry practice -- called "slack fill" -- is subject to federal regulations defining the difference between the capacity of a container and the volume of product inside.

Jacobson is calling for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and state attorneys general to crack down on illegal slack fill in food packages.

"If food companies cut packages of ginger snaps or Hamburger Helper in half, what now takes two trucks to ship would only take one," Jacobson said in a statement. "Some of us might appreciate some extra space in our cupboards, too."

"Cut the Slack" is the lead editorial in the April issue of the Nutrition Action Healthletter, a publication of The Center for Science in the Public Interest.

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