ABA is currently reviewing the new FDA supplemental added sugar labeling proposal and is strategizing on how to respond to the Agency. The proposal would require declaration of the percent daily value (% DV) for added sugars on the Nutrition Facts panel (NFP) and Supplement Facts panel (SFP). It establishes a daily value reference intake of 50 mg per day for ages 4-adult and 25 mg for children ages 1-3.
The proposal also calls for shortening the current footnote on the NFP. FDA notes that these proposed revisions were prompted by the information on added sugars presented in the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (the 2015 DGAC report) and by the results of FDA’s consumer research studies on format options for footnote text and added sugars declaration.
In addition, in response to comments on the March 2014 proposed rule and the results of FDA’s consumer research studies, FDA has tentatively decided to withdraw its alternate design format for the NFP, which would have grouped nutrients into categories such as “avoid too much” and “get enough.”
In its original response to the March 2014 proposal, ABA opposed the added sugar provisions noting several key points including that the body does not distinguish and process natural sugar any differently than added sugar. Also, that there was no AOAC approved method of measurement and that bakery products have the added complexity of fermentation that utilizes sugar as part of the baking process.
ABA believes that it is premature to base the proposal on the DGAC Report. The Agencies have yet to complete their final dietary recommendations that are expected at the end of 2015.
For FDA to leap to the conclusion that added sugar is the cause of obesity is a stretch at best- the science the DGAC pointed to is not of the strongest level. Only 27 percent of the science used in the DGAC was from the Nutrition Evidence Library (NEL).
Comments are due to FDA by October 13.