NFPA Says Qualified Health Claims and Dietary Guidance Statements Would Provide Consumers With Important Information on the Health Benefits of Foods

WASHINGTON, Nov. 21 /-- In response to the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) issued today by the Food and Drug Administration, seeking public comment on qualified health claims and dietary guidance statements to help consumers choose healthful diets, Regina Hildwine, Senior Director of Food Labeling and Standards for the National Food Processors Association (NFPA), made the following comments:

"NFPA has long believed that FDA should permit -- even encourage -- the communication of truthful health benefits statements on food product labels, substantiated by competent and reliable scientific evidence.

"In 1994, NFPA filed a petition with FDA -- which is cited in this ANPR -- seeking greater flexibility for making health claims on food labels. FDA has clearly listened to our position, and is now asking questions to help shape the regulatory framework for health claims and dietary guidance messages. NFPA will provide extensive comments to the Agency on this issue.

"Qualified health claims and dietary guidance statements would help increase consumer access to accurate, science-based information on the health benefits of food products by putting it directly on food labels. Such information has been shown to be of benefit to consumers by helping them make sound dietary selections."

The National Food Processors Association (NFPA) is the voice of the $500 billion food processing industry on scientific and public policy issues involving food safety, food security, nutrition, technical and regulatory matters and consumer affairs.

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