The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) recently sent a letter to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Margaret Hamburg urging the agency to act on an April 2005 advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) related to serving-size regulations. According to the letter, CSPI first responded to the ANPR by asking FDA to (i) “take enforcement action against manufacturers that mislabel products as multiple servings when they are typically consumed in one eating occasion,” and (ii) “initiate a rulemaking proceeding to revise the Reference Amounts Currently Consumed (‘RACC’) regulations to reflect consumption patterns that have developed since the data were collected” in the 1970s. In particular, the consumer watchdog has singled out canned soup, ice cream, coffee creamer, and aerosol non-stick cooking sprays as bearing “unrealistic” serving-size labels that “understate the calories, sodium and saturated fat consumers are likely to get from those products.”

“Given the prevalence of hypertension, heart disease, and stroke in America, we need accurate food labels that would ensure that consumers would really know what they’re likely to consume,” said CSPI Executive Director Michael Jacobson in an August 2, 2011, press release, which noted that FDA is currently reviewing serving sizes as part of broader food label revisions. “The FDA should define serving sizes to reflect what consumers actually eat, as the law requires, not what the soup industry pretends that they eat.”