Regulatory Tone Intensifies for Sugar – Thoughts from Imbibe CCO, Andy Dratt

 In Baking Business, Blog, Press

While there has been “a lot of government activity” concerning sugar reduction over the past decade, efforts appear to have intensified in the past few months, including targeting sugar as a means to achieve reduced consumption of processed foods.

Beth Johnson, RD, founder and principal, Food Directions LLC, said current efforts to address sugar consumption include work on the revised Dietary Guidelines for Americans, listing of added sugars on the Nutrition Facts panel, an updated definition of “healthy” by the Food and Drug Administration, the National Salt and Sugar Reduction Initiative, the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health, added sugar limits for school meals, a “healthy” icon labeling system, soda taxes and others.


Courtney Gaine, PhD, RD, president and chief executive officer of The Sugar Association, said the FDA also was working on the definition of what constituted a “low sugar” claim on product labels. Attempts to limit sugar consumption are shifting away from voluntary, private sector commitments to government or mandated requirements, Ms. Johnson said. The FDA has focused on labeling because it’s “the easiest to regulate,” she said, even if consumers don’t understand labels. “It’s just confusing, very confusing,” Ms. Johnson said. Andy Dratt, executive vice president and chief commercial officer of Imbibe, agreed that there was “so much confusion from the policy perspective and from the consumer perspective” about sugar and labeling.


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