The FDA has finally decided it's time to do something about food labels.
Walk into a grocery store nowadays, and you'll find things like rice labeled "Gluten-Free!" (uh, ALL rice is gluten-free...), and "Non-GMO!" labels stuck on a bunch of products that – surprise! – don't have genes in them at all.
That's just the beginning of the food labeling madness in the U.S., where consumers are subject to all kinds of misleading labeling practices, just so big companies can make more money.
A consumer might choose, for example, to buy the "gluten-free" rice, even though it's no different from the rice without said misleading label.
Part of the problem is that the laws that govern what kinds of claims you can and can't make on food packaging haven't been updated since the 90's, according to Vice's food news site Munchies. A few Dems have proposed a new bill called The Food Labeling Modernization Act that would legally require a new front-of-package label for all food items.
The new labels would make it easier for consumers to see what's in their food by drawing the distinction between naturally-occurring sugars and artificially added sugars. They would also include more information on percent daily values.
Meanwhile, the FDA has decided it's time to think harder about the use of words like "healthy" and "natural" on food products. They're asking the public on their input, which you can give here!
I believe that people have the right to know what's in the food we're putting in our bodies, and unfortunately, these days, that's all to difficult to figure out. Hopefully, these new laws would make it easier for consumers to understand the impact of the choices they make – both monetary and dietary.