KIND, the granola bar maker, filed a petition December 1, asking that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) redefine “healthy” to meet current scientific and medical standards.
In April, KIND received a letter from the FDA regarding their labeling claims, ordering the company to stop claiming its fruit and nut bars were “healthy.” The products in question, according to The Hill website, included Almond & Apricot, Almond & Coconut, Peanut Butter and Dark Choclate + Protein and Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew +Antioxidants.
The FDA said that the product “exceeded the saturated fat and calories from saturated fat allowed to be considered saturated in fat. KIND worked to ensure that the labeling was corrected to meet the FDA standards.
According to The Hill, the FDA stated that the word “healthy” is only to be used to describe individual foods that contain 3 g or less total fat, and 1 g or less of saturated fat per serving. The exception to this rule is fish and meat, which are required by regulation to have 5 g or less total fat and 2 g or less saturated fat per serving.
“Kind Snacks argues that the mandate precludes nutrient-rich foods like nuts, avocados, olives and salmon from using the term “healthy” as a nutrient content claim even though the federal dietary guidelines recommend Americans eat less meat and more fish and nuts.
“Our goal is to highlight the importance of following a healthy diet that includes foods made with wholesome and nutrient-dense ingredients,” Daniel Lubetzky, the company’s founder and CEO, said in a press release.
“Educating consumers about key components of a healthful diet is essential for public health and I am proud to support KIND as they launch this effort,” said David Katz, MD, MPH, FACPM, FACP, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center and senior nutrition advisor to KIND.
“Unfortunately, the current regulatory approach for food labeling claims limits the ability of food producers to tell consumers that products containing certain ingredients – such as nuts, whole grains, seafood, fruits, and vegetables – are healthy and are recommended as part of a beneficial diet,” Katz continued. “The changes KIND is requesting would facilitate such communication and help Americans better understand how to choose nutritious foods more often.”
“The current regulations were created with the best intentions when the available science supported dietary recommendations limiting total fat intake,” Lubetzky said. “However, current science tells us that the unsaturated fats in nutrient-dense foods like nuts, seeds and certain fish are beneficial to overall health.”
In the petition, KIND asked the FDA to change the general nutrition claims language to allow food manufacturers to be able to use the term “healthy” by excluding the grams of saturated and total fat content in their products that come from nuts, fruits, vegetables, seeds, whole grains and legumes (as long as the nutrition in such ingredients hasn’t been degraded by over-processing).
According to KIND’s website, several experts agree and have signed KIND’s petition and written letters of support.
For more information visit, www.kindsnacks.com.