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FDA says it will be reviewing potential ways to advertise food as ‘healthy’

Agency may develop symbol to convey allegedly healthful products.

Updated: May 8, 2021 - 3:30pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration this week revealed its intent to explore the development of food packaging that could be used to advertise “healthy” food to consumers.

The FDA announced on its website that it was planning “preliminary consumer research” on “the use of symbols on food product labels.”

“We’re conducting this research in conjunction with the development of a proposed rule the FDA intends to later publish to update the definition of the nutrient content claim ‘healthy’,” the agency said. 

“Any potential symbol would represent the nutrient content claim ‘healthy’ and could be used voluntarily by companies on food product labels that meet the ‘healthy’ definition.”

The agency said its announcement was “an important initial step toward our goal of providing consumers with information and tools to enable them to easily and quickly make food choices consistent with public health recommendations and to encourage the development of healthier foods by the industry.”