Food manufacturers are feeling the pressure. What else can account for the news that food companies are going to introduce front-of-the-package food labels in the coming months? Why this new labeling scheme, you might wonder? Well, apparently you’re too dumb to turn the package over to view the nutrition information already located on the BACK OF THE BOX.
Michelle Obama has blamed food manufacturers for this country’s so-called “obesity epidemic” (I’ve written about the obesity exaggerations here) and has challenged the industry to develop a front-of-pack labeling system to, as she likes to say “help busy consumers make informed decisions.”
And when these companies announced their plans to start doing what the first lady asked them to do, the White House issued this dark statement applauding the companies for their leadership but stating that the FDA “plans to monitor this initiative closely and will work with experts … to evaluate whether the label is meeting the needs of American consumers and pursue improvements as needed.” In other words, nice try but we’re still coming for you. USA Today reported last month on the industry’s efforts to satisfy the White House saying:
On Monday, the food industry unveiled its voluntary front-of-pack labeling, called Nutrition Keys, designed to help make healthful choices. The program is designed to “promote healthier lifestyles,” says Pamela Bailey, president of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, which announced the program with the Food Marketing Institute.
Consumers will start seeing the labels on some food packages in the next few months, but they won’t be widely found until the end of the year. The program applies to packaged foods, but not fresh foods such as individual bananas or apples. The plan is already drawing fire from some critics who say the industry is trying a pre-emptive strike so it doesn’t have to use a plan being developed by the Food and Drug Administration.
Won’t that be fun to peel away that large label placed on each banana, each individual apple, bell pepper, onion, potato. Imagine the extra man-power and labor that will go into applying each of these labels. Do you think the FDA is considering how the extra labor involved in this process will be passed on to the consumers? Does the FDA consider that many of these food producers will need to spend money to redesign their packaging to accommodate this moronic new regulation. Probably not.
This preemptive strike on the part of food manufacturers–who are trying to work ahead of the more onerous FDA planned (and required) food labeling regulations-doesn’t satisfy the food nannies. Food regulation pusher Marion Nestle, says, “It’s hard not to be outraged at industry pre-emption of what FDA is trying so hard to do.”
Aww, it’s so nice that Marion is recognizing those hard working bureaucrats working so hard to drive up the already high cost of groceries. You see, Nestle bristles when industry does things on their own. She doesn’t want business to have any say in food labeling, rather she prefers food manufactures be simply ordered to do things the government’s way. Their bottom line; their profits mean nothing to Nestle who resides in her ivory tower at New York university discussing granola and wheat grass shots.
For the rest of us, it looks like food prices will go up even more thanks to the seemingly endless appetite the White House has for regulating the food industry.