FDA Rejects Traffic Light Food Labels Imposed on Army Troops

This week the FDA informed the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and the Food Marking Institute (FMI) of its approval for the Facts Up Front program, according to FoodNavigator-usa.com. This means that consumers get the facts, not interpretation by the Federal Government. But there are still areas of our society that are not safe from government control.

At a panel discussion held Thursday on how the government can help ‘promote’ healthy eating habits in public schools, Lt. Col. Sonya Cable, a U.S. Army nutritionist, recommended implementing their “Go for Green” program, which labels healthy foods green, moderate foods amber, and high calorie foods red, throughout the nation’s schools. CNS News reports,

“The nutrition education program alerts soldiers that ‘red’ foods like bacon and apple pie should only be eaten rarely, with a warning: ‘limit intake.’ Foods labeled green, however, such as mustard greens, are deemed ‘premium fuel for the soldier athlete,’ ‘fresh and flavorful’ and ‘nutrient dense.’ Soldiers are advised to eat these frequently.”

Can nutrition really be summed up so easily? Can three colors paint the entire picture of health? The fact is nutrition is not a one-size-fits-all science, something that even Lt. Col. Cable points out to CNS News.

“I had some folks say to me, ‘Well, why on earth did you even include the red ones to begin with?’ Two reasons – one, we’ve got soldiers who have racehorse metabolisms that they needed every calorie I could get into them. And by taking off the ‘red’ we just found that we couldn’t get enough calories in them.’ The second reason for including ‘red’ foods, Cable said, was ‘so they could learn what contributed positively and maybe what contributed negatively. Not to say that every food is bad, it’s just how they fit into your performance goals.'”

Is fried chicken bad just because it’s fried? What about the protein in the chicken? Does a salad turn from green to red if you put ranch dressing on it? Who decides? It’s obvious that this traffic light system is more complicated than the three colors ‘Red, Yellow and Green’ would suggest.

Continue reading at CNS News.

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