The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will reconsider how “healthy” may be used on food packaging following the evaluation of a citizen petition filed by Kind LLC. FDA previously challenged Kind’s use of “healthy” on its nut bars, which contain more fat than permitted due to the inclusion of nuts, and Kind changed its packaging accordingly but filed a petition for reconsideration of the issue. The existing guidelines were created during the 1990s and reflect accepted standards of that time, including a preference for foods low in fat without regard to the nature of the fat. FDA has now allowed Kind to use “healthy and tasty” on its packaging “only in text clearly presented as its corporate philosophy, where it isn’t represented as a nutrient content claim, and does not appear on the same display panel as nutrient content claims or nutrition information.” Further details about the dispute appear in Issues 562, 575 and 586 of this Update.
“In light of evolving nutrition research, forthcoming Nutrition Facts Labeling final rules, and a citizen petition, we believe now is an opportune time to reevaluate regulations concerning nutrient content claims, generally, including the term ‘healthy,’” a May 10, 2016, FDA statement explained. “We plan to solicit public comment on these issues in the near future.”