Food politics makes strange bedfellows, again
Last week, I wrote about the dairy industry’s petition to avoid having to follow FDA rules about labeling artificial sweeteners on the front of milk cartons.
Cara Wilking, Senior Staff Attorney at the Public Health Advocacy Institute at Northeastern University points out that the Sugar Association, the trade association for producers of cane and beet sugar, is right on top of this issue.
To assist consumers in making informed choices about what is sweetening the products they purchase, the Sugar Association petitioned the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requesting changes to labeling regulations on sugar and alternative sweeteners.
In this petition we asked that artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols be identified on the front of the package along with the amounts, similar to what is required in Canada.
If it is important to you to know if the product you purchase contains artificial sweeteners, let your congressional representatives know that FDA needs to take action on this important consumer issue.
The Sugar Association, obviously, represents the producers of cane and beet sugar. It wants to sell more sugar. It doesn’t like artificial sweeteners much. [Recall: it doesn’t like me much either—go to Media and scroll down to the bottom to read the Sugar Association’s letter threatening to sue me].
In contrast, the dairy industry wants to sell more milk. Sweetened milk, no matter with what, sells to kids. School kids are a big market for the dairy industry. This market, however, is not doing well these days, according to the dairy industry’s August 2012 School Channel Survey.
Schools and processors are realizing 59% of current potential…Milk potential stands at 6.29 milks per student each week…Actual usage is 3.74 milks per student each week. Elementary schools: 70% of potential being realized, down 1 point Secondary schools: 50%, down 1 point over last year.
Achieving ‘a milk with every meal’ translates into nearly 300 million incremental gallons….
Of course artificial sweeteners should be prominently labeled. The Sugar Association has this one right.
Whatever your opinion, you can file comments at www.regulations.gov. Search for docket number FDA-2009-P-0147.