FDA Asked to Require “Added Sugars” in a Food Ingredient Statement

March 1, 2012

By Riëtte van Laack – 

A coalition of public health associations sent a letter to FDA encouraging the agency to amend its ingredient statement regulation to include the single food ingredient “added sugars” followed by a parenthetical listing of the specific sugars added in descending order of predominance by weight.  Earlier this month, Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) sent FDA a similar letter.

The letter maintains that the requested labeling would better enable the consumer “to evaluate the foods they purchase.”  However, any consumer interested in the amount of sugars in a food can glean that information from the nutritional facts box, which is required to declare “sugars” per serving.  Furthermore, it is information on total sugars, not just “added sugars” that is relevant for weight management and management of diseases such as diabetes.  Finally, the ingredient statement regulation requires the listing of ingredients in descending order of predominance by weight, but does not require disclosure of the amount of an ingredient per daily serving.