FDA holds public meeting on redefining “healthy” claims in food labeling.

The FDA hosted a public meeting on March 9 to invite public comments on redefining the term “healthy” in the labelling of human food products. At the public meeting, the FDA held breakout sessions on three topics: healthy as a nutrient-based claim; healthy as a food component-based claim; and the consumer meaning and understanding of the term “healthy.”

The event was well attended by representatives of the food industry; food trade associations; food research scientists; nutritionists; private citizens; and local, state and federal regulators. Based on commentary at the meeting, industry representatives appear to favor a hybrid definition for “healthy” that combines elements of both a nutrient-based and a component-based definition.

The FDA did not provide commentary on the agency’s views, so it remains to be seen how the agency will redefine the term “healthy,” if at all. The FDA is accepting written comments until April 26, 2017.

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