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Home / Health / FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb wants to define "healthy" and "natural"

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb wants to define "healthy" and "natural"



And maybe the dairy from yogurt.

Washington, DC – At the National Food Policy Conference on Thursday, politicians, lobbyists and food industry leaders from Scott Gottlieb, Commissioner for Food and Drug Administration (FDA), learned how the agency aims to promote a healthy diet and improve public nutrition. At the heart of their new agenda is informed consumer choice and, in particular, better food labeling.

Gottlieb, who has served as Commissioner for a year, presented a number of ideas developed by the food industry of the agency, the Center, for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, many of which were enthusiastically received by the public health representatives present , Initially, he said, the FDA plans to "modernize" its approach to food labels and packaging claims.

At the moment, the Authority has a supervision over all health-related claims food companies make that their ingredients reduce or prevent the risk of certain conditions. Think of folic acid and birth defects or fish oil and coronary heart disease. It also regulates claims that a particular food may contain a reasonable amount of nutrients such as calcium or vitamin C.

For the future, the agency plans to re-evaluate its stance on the importance of "healthy" and its […] 1

9659005] famously nebulous definition – something the FDA has not wanted to do for years. In guidelines first introduced in 1993, the FDA generally refers to the fat content of a product and the amount of beneficial nutrients it contains. Ideally, according to Gottlieb, a new definition would reflect the presence of certain food groups such as whole grains, low-fat dairy, fruits and vegetables and healthy oils instead of nutrients.

"Humans eat food, not nutrients," he said, adding that the FDA will consider a "healthy" symbol or symbol for use on food packaging that helps eaters identify compliant products.

Along with rethinking the definition of "healthy," the agency also plans to take a different look at the term "natural." During a lengthy and contentious public comment period over the last two years, the FDA has received 7,600 comments about whether "natural", some of officially defining Gottlieb, pointed out that this has nothing to do with public health issues. (19659005) "Take away the chips, of course, you bloody liars" is a well known example.)

Currently, the FDA says that the term "natural" means that nothing artificial or synthetic has been added to a food you would not expect to be there. But it avoids an official definition. (On Wednesday, a conference attendee said the term is loose and teeth are missing because members of the food industry "drive through a proverbial Mack Truck.") Gottlieb said the agency plans to address the "natural" definition very soon [19659003]

When Gottlieb was asked to define a clean label, he skinned and inhibited.

He also addressed the related issue of Clean Label, an unregulated, undefined term that describes as "natural." what's not present in a meal instead of what is Last month, Nadia Berenstein wrote that Clean Label, the biggest trend in food processing, exploits the confusion about what "natural" and "artificially" really mean, and shows in the way how benign, tried and true food additives such as tocopherol or vitamin E are not very welcome. [1 9659003] In response to this confusion, Gottlieb may suggest that the FDA has more "legible and understandable" names for certain ingredients, such as vitamin B6, instead of pyridoxine. Currently, he said, the agency is reviewing a petition for an alternate name for the ingredient potassium chloride, which some eaters mistakenly consider bleaching. In fact, it is a common salt substitute.

Several factions in the food industry support clean labels for a variety of reasons. Marketing experts believe that clean labels reassure anxious consumers who want transparency – a big buzzword at this year's conference. Public health advocates believe that "clean" foods have the potential to be healthier but not themselves. When Gottlieb was asked to define a clean label, he said it was important to find "voluntary" means by which sponsors and manufacturers could put useful labels on packaging.

One of the hallmarks of nutritional policy is that they often bring together what insiders like to call strange bedfellows.

As part of the Agency's broader effort to promote healthy nutrition, it will support lower sodium consumption, especially among populations that are particularly at risk for hypertension, such as: B. African Americans. Gottlieb also reported on continued efforts to update the Nutrition Facts label and new menu label initiatives. calorie labeling requirements in chain restaurants will be fully implemented by May 7, 2018 Published fiber and portion size technical documentation to help major manufacturers comply with the new Nutrition Facts label by 2020.

Gottlieb said that the FDA has some food standards of identity or federal requirements for what ingredients "must" be in a food product such as bread, jam or chocolate to use the name legally. (These standards explain why margarine for example, can not be called butter.) The standards for cheese, for example, do not allow a salt substitute that could lower the sodium content. Interestingly, Gottlieb said that the agency had been asked to modernize identity standards for yoghurt, but not by whom. Currently, yoghurt must be produced with dairy products. Could this change?

One of the hallmarks of nutrition policy is that they often bring together what insiders like to call strange bedfellows. So it is not uncommon to find political opposites that are united by hunger or nutrition or agricultural subsidies. For example, until recently, policymakers had boasted that the agricultural bill was not "biased". Gottlieb's FDA agenda – at least as presented to the stakeholder group in Washington this week – shows that the agency under his leadership could take over the agency to continue pushing the nutrition agenda of the previous government.


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