All food cos. agree to drop “Smart Choices” label – for now
Just a few months after rolling out the “Smart Choices” label onto hundreds of food products in grocery stores and other retail outlets across America, all participating companies have temporarily agreed to drop the label, according to an October 29th press release from the Connecticut attorney general’s office.
QUESTIONING THE 'SMART' IN SMART CHOICES LABEL
The suspension of the Smart Choices Program comes amid an investigation by the CT attorney general into the legitimacy of the program. It also follows a recent letter from the FDA to the food industry, detailing the agency’s plans to examine front-of-package labels like Smart Choices, and create new standards for them.
The Smart Choices label, which features a bright green check mark on about 500 packaged foods, is meant to guide consumers to supposedly smart food choices in 19 categories. But the fact that sugary cereals like Froot Loops and fatty spreads like Hellmann’s mayonnaise qualify for the label has raised concerns among government and health experts as to why such products are being called out as smart.
ALL FOOD COS. OPT TO TEMPORARILY DROP LABEL
The attorney general had been publicly calling on the companies to drop the label since October 23rd, when the Smart Choices Program announced it would be postponing its operations. The announcement, however, did not specify that companies would be required to stop using the label.
Regardless, The New York Times reported on October 24th that two companies—PepsiCo and Kellogg’s—were going to drop or phase out the label, whereas Kraft Foods was expected to continue using it. Now, with the new agreement, Kraft would also temporarily stop using the label along with seven others.
To help you find more nutritious foods, Consumer Reports Health recently launched its own nutrition ratings. Watch our cereal nutrition Ratings video and find out which cereals had the highest and lowest nutrition scores (subscribers only). You can also find out why cereal ads might be bad for your child’s health.