Feb 17, 2023NPC to FDA: New “healthy” food labeling definition should include potatoes
National Potato Council (NPC) provided comments Feb. 16 in response to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed rulemaking that would update the definition of the nutrient content claim “healthy” included on food labels and marketing. When announced in September, the agency said the rule would ensure consistency with current nutrition science and federal dietary guidance.
In its comments, NPC stated that it supports efforts to empower consumers to make and have access to healthy choices, and noted that versatile, nutrient-rich, and cost-effective potatoes would fall into this “healthy” claim.
NPC states that through the updated proposal, FDA should consider updates to the “healthy” nutrient content claim to increase consumer transparency and help consumers put foods into the context of an overall healthy diet. The council lays out recommendations to consider as FDA updates to the definition of “healthy”:
- Maintain nutrients-to-encourage as a criteria to meet the “healthy” claim and focus on under-consumed nutrients (e.g., potassium, dietary fiber), as recognized by the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans;
- Establish thresholds for nutrients to limit (e.g., sodium, added sugar) that are flexible, reasonable, and encourage product innovation;
- Increase flexibility for the proposed approach to calculating Food Group Equivalents (FGEs) and provide tools for the industry to calculate this metric; and
- Clarify that just because a food does not meet the voluntary definition of “healthy” does not mean it is “unhealthy.”
“The potato industry continues to provide access to affordable, accessible, better-for-you products in the marketplace. We encourage the agency to consider the proposed changes outline above that could help encourage consumers to increase intake of nutrient-dense vegetables like potatoes,” NPC concludes. The full comments can be found here.
– National Potato Council