Eat Drink Better

Published on October 26th, 2009 | by Becky Striepe

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Smart Choices Food Labeling Program Suspended!

[social_buttons]Last week was a win for healthy foodies! Food manufacturers opted to suspend the Smart Choices labeling program, which would have deemed products like Fruit Loops and Lucky Charms as healthy picks.


Early last week, the FDA issued a Letter to Manufacturers as a warning about misleading front-of-package labeling. Producers like Pepsi are now backing out, and Kellogg’s is going to phase out packaging with the Smart Choices label, too. After public outcry about the labeling choices, the FDA is now working on its own package-front nutrition labeling system.

The food makers are saying that the Smart Choice label was based on federal dietary guidelines but that they are behind the FDA’s plan to create a standardized label. Smart Choices board member Richard Kahn said, “The impetus for the Smart Choices program was that there were and are too many systems. We applaud the concept of having one system nationwide.”

I’m not sure I buy that the Smart Choices program was more about health than about marketing, and it’s great to see the FDA stepping up to help consumers make truly informed decisions. According to Food Politics, they’re going to be “testing how well consumers understand different kinds of package labels.” Here are some of the labels that the FDA is looking at:

I’m a big fan of the UK Traffic Light System but would also love to see something on the front of the package that let you know about allergy information. What do you guys think?

Image Credits:
Lucky Charms. Creative Commons photo by dearbarbz365
Food Label Examples. Via Food Politics

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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .



5 Responses to Smart Choices Food Labeling Program Suspended!

  1. Dorian says:

    I am glad that the FDA took notice of public opposition to the proposed Smart Choices processed food labeling program. The ultimate arbitor of what is considered safe is the consumer. Read all labels, know what you are about to ingest.

  2. becky says:

    I totally agree, Dorian! Front of package labeling has so much potential to help folks make informed choices…I hope they go with something that gives the a better picture of what we’re buying.

  3. zach says:

    good post, Becky! great news :)

  4. Pingback: UK Gives Red Light to the Food Standards Agency : Eat. Drink. Better.

  5. Pingback: Pepsi and Health Food – Eat Drink Better

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