"Facts Up Front" is Marketing, Not Nutrition Labeling

Statement of CSPI Executive Director Michael Jacobson

March 3, 2014

In 2011 the Institute of Medicine recommended that the Food and Drug Administration design a mandatory, front-of-package labeling system that would instantly communicate a food's overall healthfulness. Whether such a system used red, yellow, and green dots, a numerical score, or a letter grade, such labeling would clearly distinguish truly healthful foods from less healthful ones. CSPI petitioned the FDA to design and implement a front-of-package labeling system back in 2006.

To be clear, the industry's voluntary "Facts Up Front" is not such a system. It is aimed more at preempting an FDA-designed system than at providing easy-to-understand "nutrition in a nutshell" information for consumers. Its voluntary nature means you may not see it on junk foods. And even if you did, it wouldn't successfully highlight the food's unhealthfulness. Facts Up Front is a joke that should be roundly ignored by the FDA and the Administration. We need an FDA-designed front-of-package system that is mandatory, easily understood by even less-educated consumers, and science-based.


Get Updates Via Email

Journalists can receive CSPI news releases via email.
Not a journalist?

Sign Up for Email Now



Subscribe Now

Subscribe Now »

Subscribe Today and Save!

In Recent Issues

Cover Story: 1 in 8: What You May Not Know About Breast Cancer

Special Feature: Soy Oh Soy: Is It Really Bad For You?

Brand-Name Rating: Pasta Sauce

Subscribe Now

Request permission to reuse content

The use of information from this site for commercial purposes is strictly prohibited without written permission from CSPI.