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The Food Industry Tries to Redesign the Nutrition Label, Fails

The food industry tried to beat the FDA to the punch by redesigning the nutrition label first. Surprise: It might actually confuse consumers.

In January, food industry giants launched a new food label for the front of packaged foods—Nutrition Keys (above)—which was widely seen as an attempt to influence or divert the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's ongoing efforts to create better labeling. That's a problem.

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Check the Label and the Science, Too

What pomegranates say about a corrosive research practice.

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Uncovering Fictitious and Fraudulent Fish with the Barcodes of Life

Could the DNA barcodes used to expose widespread fish fraud also become a shopper's best friend?


Argentine Roughy, Cherry Snapper, and Salmon Trout only exist at the fish market. They’re fictitious names for fish that don’t exist anywhere, except in the minds of unscrupulous fishmongers. "Grouper" sometimes gets sold as catfish. Gulf shrimp spawn, impossibly, in Thailand. Menhedan masquerade as "Pamplona Sardines in tomato Sauce." Importers traffic in "Leather Jacket Fillets" or "Freedom Cobbler."

Despite growing awareness about the origins of our food, we’re often served a completely different fish species than the ones we order. This comes with economic costs and often means that sustainable seafood you’re eating might not be so sustainable. Global "ichthyologic name-swapping" obfuscates the origins of fish, so contaminated or toxic food causing health problems often can't be traced to the source.

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What the New Look Food Labels Lack: Graphical Integrity Nutrition Keys: Grocery Manufacturers Roll Out New Front-of-the-Package Labels

Food manufacturers make the push for new labels, but chances are they won't be around for very long.

That's what the new labels the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Food Marketing Institute want to slap on the front of store-brand boxes of cereal, crackers, and ice cream. You'll start seeing the new labels in the next couple of months, but maybe not for long. The New York Times reports:

The industry move was widely seen as an attempt to influence the [Food and Drug Administration's] continuing effort to establish voluntary guidelines for front-of-package labeling. Once those guidelines are issued, perhaps this year, the industry could come under pressure to change its packaging again.

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