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New Food Labeling Bill Would Restrict Companies Use Of “Healthy” “Whole Wheat”

There is a bill right now that was was introduced into the house in senate called the “Food Labeling Modernization Act of 2015” This bill will enact measures to make food companies be clearly honest about what they are feeding us.

For instance, the bill says:

“The phrase ‘made with whole grain’, the term ‘multigrain’, or similar descriptive phrases, terms, or representations with respect to whole grain content, unless the amount of whole grains, expressed as a percentage of total grains, is conspicuously disclosed in immediate proximity to such descriptive phrase, term, or representation; or ‘‘(B) the terms ‘wheat’ or ‘whole wheat’ on breads, pasta, crackers, or similar wheat-based products, unless the percentage of whole wheat by weight contained in the food is conspicuously declared in immediate proximity to that term or there is a conspicuous declaration that the food ‘contains no whole wheat’ in immediate proximity to that term.”

Meaning that the company would be obligated to disclose the exact amount of wheat is in whole wheat bread, for instance. That way, a company cannot just say there is wheat in there, if there is less than 50% wheat in the bread.

Welch's is so unhealthy that their "healthy" looking claims and covered got them sued in September
Welch’s is so unhealthy that their misleading “healthy” looking claims and cover got them sued in September

It also claims in the bill that foods would only be able to claim to be “Trans-Fat Free” if they have less than 1 gram of Saturated fat per serving, that way they can’t claim to be Trans-fat free as a way of a health claim if they are still causing severe harm in the form of Saturated Fats. They are also planning on limiting how much sugar per serving will be allowable.

And speaking of servings, 14 potato chips might not be a legitimate serving size. The bill states that A serving size can be multiplied if it “is packaged in an amount that could reasonably be consumed in a single-eating occasion.” So you can’t have a small bag of potato chips be 2 servings. Or a 16 oz bottle of Pepsi be “2 serving sizes” when we ALL know that nobody drinks half a bottle of soda and puts the rest in the fridge for the next day.

“Healthy” is another word that is being scrutinized, as food that has 10% or more of their calories from added sugars would be unable to claim to be healthy. Neither can foods with whole grains if less than half of the grains used are whole. “Natural” and “Organic” is under fire too, “Natural” cannot be used if the food contains any synthetic ingredients, for instance. Sesame will also be included as an allergen as well as Caffeine content of all foods with a caffeine content over 10 mg.

To be honest, it would also be awesome if they implemented a way to let consumers know if a product is vegan, vegetarian, etc, on the label. One too many times I have run into cans of pinto beans just to find out that they use lard. Sadly, that is not being implemented.