Time and time again I post on here about how I am a member of the Food Democracy e-mail list and how they send me some interesting information on healthy food choices, legislation regarding food policy, and regulations regarding the food industry. Well, their latest e-mail is interesting because it deals with these “Smart Choice” labels that you find throughout the supermarket…and in a variety of odd places.
For example, did you know that according the USDA and FDA guidelines, some forms of Keebler’s snack crackers are “Smart Choice” products? How does that even pass the smell test?! Some text from the Food Democracy Now campaign:
The Smart Choices program was dreamed up by giant food conglomerates like ConAgra, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Kraft, PepsiCo, Tyson Foods and Unilever, together with some industry “experts.” They say its purpose is to help consumers make “smarter food and beverage choices,” but you’ll be surprised to see what they define as a “Smart Choice”: things like Froot Loops®, Keebler Cookie Crunch® and Lucky Charms®.
How about the gumption on the folks that decided Lucky Charms are a “Smart Choice” option? Sickening. Through the use of Food Democracy’s online submission form, it took me no time at all to submit a pre-formatted letter to both the USDA and the FDA regarding the use of these “Smart Choice” labels. The text of the message that was sent is listed below. I encourage you to use the link above to send a message that deceptive labeling is unacceptable.
Dear Secretary Sebelius & Secretary Vilsack,
We urge you to investigate a new front of package (FOP) labeling initiative known as the Smart Choices® Program for potential deceptive and misleading claims to American consumers. At a time when our nation’s children are suffering from an epidemic of obesity and type II diabetes, leading food manufacturers should be trying to encourage eating healthier meals and not peddle overly processed foods high in sugar, fat or salt.
Unfortunately, the new program, led by many of our nation’s largest food corporations, has created a set of standards so loose that products like Froot Loops®, Keebler Cookie Crunch® and Lucky Charms® are eligible for the Smart Choices® label.
It’s outrageous that American companies would try to push food products loaded with as much as 44% sugar on parents who are desperately trying to feed their children healthy meals. Please stand up for our nation’s children and only allow healthy, nutritious foods to achieve this type of voluntary labeling. If this administration is serious about children’s health and nutrition they will enforce strict guidelines related to food products geared towards children and will not allow corporations to engage in deceptive or misleading labeling practices.
If you interested in sending a message to the USDA and the FDA (which takes moments to do), then please head over to this link and check it out.