The Battle Over “Whole Grain” Labeling Standards

In 2006, the FDA issued draft guidance regarding whole grain labeling statements.  Among other things, the FDA noted:

Manufacturers may make factual statements about whole grains on the label of their products, such as “100% whole grain” (as percentage labeling under 21 CFR 102.5(b)) or “10 grams of whole grains” (21 CFR 101.13(i)(3)) provided that the statements are not false or misleading under section 403(a) of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics  Act … 21 U.S.C. 34 3(a)) and do not imply a particular level of the ingredient, i.e., “high” or “excellent source.”   In addition, manufacturers may use health claims relating whole grains to a reduced risk of coronary heart disease and certain cancers on their product labels for qualifying foods based on notifications FDA received under section 4o3(r) (3) (C) of the act (21 U.S.C. 343(r)(3)(C)) (health claims based on an authoritative statement of a scientific body)

FoodNavigator-USA has an excellent article on the subsequent comments and discussion over the criteria for whole grain labeling statements.  Among other tidbits, the article notes a significant disagreement between Kellogg’s and General Mills and a proposal by the Center for Science in the Public Interest based on the concern that “companies exploit the whole grain halo by tacking it on products made with white refined flour.”  Please see the complete article here.

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