Published on: October 26, 2009The New York Times reports that the Smart Choices nutritional labeling program is losing support amid criticisms and investigations of the criteria used to identify products as being healthier than others. Much of the criticism stems from the use of the Smart Choices label on Kellogg’s Froot Loops sugared cereal, with some people saying that consumers are being misled about what actually makes up a nutritious and healthy diet.
Kellogg’s said last week it would phase out the use of the Smart Choices logo as inventories run out. PepsiCo said it is cutting its association with the Smart Choices program. And officials with Smart Choices said they are suspending their operations while waiting for the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to develop regulations on what can be said on package fronts.
Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who launched an investigation into whether the Smart Choices program was in violation of the state’s consumer protection laws, said he saw the shifts as a “partial victory.”
The Times writes that “the actions were a remarkable turnabout for an initiative that was developed by many of the country’s largest food manufacturers. It had taken at least two years to develop. The Smart Choices logo began appearing on food packages this summer but immediately met with criticism from some nutritionists who felt its criteria were too lax. They pointed to sugary cereals, like Froot Loops, and fat-heavy products like mayonnaise, which they said should not be considered among the healthiest choices in the supermarket. The first ingredient in Froot Loops is sugar.”
- KC's View:
- The problem was that Smart Choices was seen as a marketing program, not a nutritional program...and it actually was hurting companies’ credibility. It was a dumb move - and I’m glad to see that people have come to their senses.