FMI Encourages FDA to Refine Healthy Definition


The Food Industry Association recently submitted comments to the Food and Drug Administration regarding the agency’s proposed rule to update the definition of the term “healthy.” The FDA is seeking the update when the term is used as a nutrient content claim in labeling.

FMI Chief Public Policy Officer Jennifer Hatcher says. “We are concerned the proposal is too restrictive in scope and could inadvertently lead to consumers avoiding certain foods that are otherwise part of a healthy eating pattern.” The comments submitted to FDA explain some FMI members found that their portfolios have gone from 80-95 percent “healthy”-eligible foods, to between three and seven percent healthy eligible foods under the proposed rule. FMI predicts that when taking into account the entire food supply, fewer than five percent of products would qualify.

Hatcher adds, “A definition that only allows an exceedingly small number of foods to bear a healthy claim would be counter-productive to the agency’s goal of improving public health.”