Feds make a mess out of new nutrition labels

It’s hard to believe that the most lasting fiasco from the Obama administration will be found in the supermarket.

For the first time in 20 years, the boxes that say “Nutrition Facts” that you see on every processed food label are going to be changed.

And not for the better.

When these big changes were first announced at the White House last year, I told you that they looked like a super-sized disaster.

And now that the dust has settled and the FDA has made them official, they’re not looking any better.

Despite the fact that we’re being told this is the “latest scientific knowledge” to help us eat healthier, it actually looks more like a way to help us eat more — and know even less about the food we’re buying.

Eat up!

When these new food labels were finally unveiled last week, the self-appointed queen of nutrition, First Lady Michelle Obama, said that soon we won’t need “a microscope, a calculator or a degree in nutrition” to know if the food we’re buying is “actually good for our kids.”

Well, that may be a good sound bite — but it holds water about as well as a leaky rowboat.

First off, the big change that everyone is crowing about concerns portion sizes. And it sounds like a bunch of kindergarteners thought it up.

Instead of posting a normal-sized food or drink serving, the FDA and Michelle Obama have decided to give in to America’s obesity epidemic.

The new labels will list the “serving size” as the enormous, unhealthy portion that many Americans eat instead.

Explain to me how upping the serving size on Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to the entire pint is supposed to make us any healthier?

So don’t be surprised when the label on your favorite food claims it now has twice as many calories as it used to. Apparently our government doesn’t believe you can sit down to dinner without scarfing down an entire box of spaghetti or chugging a two-liter bottle of soda.

Seriously, what were they thinking?

But that’s not the only absurdity your tax dollars have paid for here. Next comes the biggest fiasco of them all.

These new nutrition labels will also tell us the total amount of “sugars” that have been added to a food or beverage.

That may seem logical enough. But the new “added sugars” section won’t distinguish between honey, maple syrup, regular sugar, or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

They’ll literally be able to hide HFCS on these nutrition labels. That was a gift to the corn refiners’ lobby, plain and simple.

And it’s something that the Sugar Association says lacks “scientific justification.”

I hate to say it, but they’ve hit the sugar-coated nail smack on the head.

If we look at the latest science where HFCS is concerned, as I’ve been telling you, it’s even more dangerous than we thought. HFCS doesn’t just add calories, but toxic calories that have been found to cause everything from obesity to diabetes to heart disease and life-threatening liver damage.

Look, Mrs. Obama, I’m sure you mean well, but catering to Big Food is no way to make sure we’re feeding our kids (and ourselves) any healthier.

What we need is to cut through the food fog and actually spell it out so we all know exactly what’s in a product.

How about a line on these new labels for brain-damaging additives like MSG? You could call it something like “Added Brain Poisons.”

Or why not a listing of artificial colors and preservatives. That could be called “ADHD Additives,” or maybe “Cancer-Causing Colors.”

But the real truth here is that all these things can be found at the one place Big Food wishes would go away. And that’s the ingredient list, something that will still be required on food and drinks.

The print may be a bit smaller, but it’s the only thing that will really tell you what’s in your food.

Sources:
“F.D.A. finishes food labels for how we eat now” Sabrina Tavernise, May 20, 2016, The New York Times, nytimes.com