Carbohydrate Nutrient Content Claims: Proposals for FDA Action and Lessons for Regulatory Response to Emerging Consumer Trends
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CitationCarbohydrate Nutrient Content Claims: Proposals for FDA Action and Lessons for Regulatory Response to Emerging Consumer Trends (2006 Third Year Paper)
AbstractThis paper considers the recent experience of the low-carbohydrate trend in nutrition. During the early years of this decade, thousands of new products claiming to be low in carbohydrates appeared on supermarket shelves in response to surging consumer demand. Despite the cooling of the fad, a substantial number of these products are still offered to consumers. While many of these foods make a variety of explicit and implicit claims on their labels about their carbohydrate content, the Food and Drug Administration (â€œFDAâ€) has not yet authorized definitions of nutrient content claims for carbohydrates. This paper argues that FDA must provide consumers and the food industry with a comprehensive regulatory framework for carbohydrate nutrient content claims in order to bring consistency to carbohydrate-related labeling and to ensure that claims are not false or misleading. This paper further argues that FDA should use the low-carbohydrate episode as an opportunity to evaluate how the agency and its food label regulations can most effectively respond to consumer needs in an era when changes in nutritional science are fast-paced, conventional diet wisdom is being challenged, and obesity in America has reached epidemic proportions.
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