How The Government Influences Health Claims On Packaged Food

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“Noticed a lot of new ‘gluten-free’ and ‘no trans fat’ snacks in your grocery store lately? It’s not just you. A new study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that gluten and trans fat labels are the quickest-growing categories of food-packaging claims. Also hot now: Claims about antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. The USDA has apparently tracked health and nutrition claims on every single new packaged food introduced between 1989 and 2010. That’s a lot of food labels, yo. The results offer a quantitative look at food trends in the U.S. over time. They also show that the government can have a huge influence on what gets sold. Shifts in packaging claims happened right alongside legislation about what companies can, can’t and must say about their products.” w/ photos

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