With the Food and Drug Administration cracking down on food claims, the folks behind the controversial Smart Choices logo are taking it off grocery store shelves. The manufacturer-sponsored program, which slaps Smart Choices check marks on the fronts of all sorts of processed foods, is voluntarily suspending operations.
Froot Loops used to be a "Smart Choice."
Froot Loops used to be a "Smart Choice." iStockphoto
Smart Choices chief Mike Hughes says the decision was triggered by the FDA's recently announced push for a standardized system for front-of-the-package food labeling. Hughes maintains that his group is ready to work with the FDA and that they share the "exact goal" of helping consumers make informed choices for healthy diets.
The move also comes after FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg expressed her concern this week that industry-driven food labeling programs were potentially misleading consumers.
A strongly worded FDA letter to industry threatened "enforcement actions" against "false or misleading claims" in nutrition labeling.
For a taste of the controversy, take a look at some of foods designated Smart Choices, such as high-sugar cereals Lucky Charms and Froot Loops.
For their part, the Smart Choices folks defended the labeling criteria as being based on "sound, consensus science."