Smart Choices label being pulled

Smart Choice logo

A typical Smart Choice logo

Mike Hughes, chair of the Smart Choices Program, announced today that “The Smart Choices nutrition labeling program voluntarily will postpone active operations and not encourage wider use of the Smart Choices nutrition logo by current or newly enrolled companies”

The article goes on to say that this surprise announcement “…comes shortly after the Food and Drug Administration announced on Oct. 20 that the agency is reviewing labels that communicate nutritional quality on front-of-package labels and how consumers are using the labels.”

In a related story, posted on the same website, Dr. Margaret Hamburg, commissioner of the F.D.A is quoted as saying “Some are questioning whether they (front-of-package symbols) are marketing or health-oriented.” That same related story says the FDA is “analyzing front-of-package labels that appear to be misleading and also is looking for symbols that may be considered nutrient content claims.”

Soooo… lemme see if I have all this straight. This industry driven private food labeling program was being put on just about all the new “healthy” and “good for you” food items out there. All any food product needed to do to get this sticker was to fill out an “application and deposit fee” on the Smart Choice website and wait and see if they qualified to put that nice big green checkmark sticker on their product. But three days ago, the FDA announces it’s going to start looking into front of package labeling on all food items. And since the FDA announced it is going to be coming around for a little look-see, the company in charge of this label with the nice big green healthy checkmark immediately stops everything it is doing and will not take any newcomers who want to get this this label on their product.

There’s an old song from the 80’s that I think is appropriate here….. “Things that make you go hmmmm……”