WASHINGTON, July 25 (UPI) -- The Food and Drug Administration is reviewing a controversial change to nutrition labels to add amounts of added sugar and recommended consumption levels, a move opposed by many food and beverage companies.
The proposed change to the Nutrition Facts label would set the recommended intake of added sugar for packaged food and drinks at no more than 10 percent of a 2,000-calorie a day, or 200 calories a day. That's equivalent to about 13 teaspoons of added sugar. A 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola has nearly 10 teaspoons.
"The FDA has a responsibility to give consumers the information they need to make informed dietary decisions for themselves and their families," said Susan Mayne, Ph.D., director of the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. "For the past decade, consumers have been advised to reduce their intake of added sugars, and the proposed percent daily value for added sugars on the Nutrition Facts label is intended to help consumers follow that advice."
Many packaged-food and beverage companies have said highlighting added sugar could be misleading because the body reacts the same to natural sugar, like in fruit, as it does to added sugar, as in candy. They argue additional nutritional information rarely influences consumer choice and it would be a costly change for companies.
Brian Kennedy, a spokesman for the Grocery Manufacturers Association, said the food-industry trade group would study the proposed change, but questioned the evidence used to establish the FDA's recommended sugar consumption.