A voluntary nutrition-labeling program created by nine leading food manufacturers is being halted after federal authorities said programs like it might end up confusing consumers, the Associated Press reported Friday.
On Tuesday, regulators at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said that the "Smart Choices" food label program and others like it might end up misleading consumers about the health rewards of certain products. The agency said it was planning to address inaccurate labeling, but it did not mention specific products.
On Friday, officials at Smart Choices -- which was launched last year and uses a green label on package fronts -- said they would "postpone" active operations and not widen use of the Smart Choices logo while the FDA investigates the labeling issues.
Smart Choices includes some of the nation's largest food companies, including Kellogg Co., Kraft Foods, and General Mills. Richard Kahn, board member at Smart Choices, said he supported the FDA's efforts, but he said that the program's criteria are based on federal dietary guidelines. "The impetus for the Smart Choices program was that there were and are too many systems," Kahn told the AP. "We applaud the concept of having one system nationwide."
The FDA says it is working with manufacturers and nutritionists to better define and standardize criteria used for nutrition claims on product packaging.