Label Wars

The revised food label introduced yesterday by retailers and manufacturers is a major step in providing consumers with simple, readable, yet pertinent nutritional information that can do some good. So why do I see another battle shaping up?

While the move was given tacit approval by the First Lady of Nutrition and gardener-in-chief, Michelle Obama, current and former officials of the Food And Drug Administration were already speechifying about how revision of the label should be left to the agency and that maybe the British system using a traffic light logo (red for bad, green for good) was the way to go,

Of course, everyone, including the food industry, has its own agenda. But government agencies, already under fire from the citizenry, are simply trying to save their bloated, bureaucratic skins. In Washington, power is a zero sum game. When someone wins, someone else has to lose and government agencies don’t like to lose-even if consumers do!

Kudos to Walmart, whose new initiative is to simply make better products and to the industry at large for getting out in front of new labeling regulations. I realize the need to play nice with the White House and for compromise. But don’t let a promising idea get buried

Maybe we should convene a Blue Ribbon panel in Davos, Switzerland to discuss the issue further. I hear the food’s good and it’s a great place for a photo op.

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