- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 27, 2014

Having already revamped school lunch menus, first lady Michelle Obama on Thursday again embraced her role as the nation’s top healthy eating advocate and boldly proclaimed that “the label of future” will help consumers pick the right foods.

During an event at the White House to formally announce the Obama administration’s proposed changes to food nutrition labels, the first lady said the listings have become largely ineffective and lack critical details that families need.

“Families deserve more and better information about the food they eat. And it’s important to note that no matter what the final version [of the label] looks like, the new label will allow you to immediately spot calorie count because it will be in very large font and not buried in the fine print,” she said. “You’ll also learn more about whether the sugar in the food comes from, like whether sugar in your yogurt was added during processing or whether it comes from ingredients like fruit. This is what you will get from the label of the future.”

The Food and Drug Administration has put forth two proposed versions of the new label.

Both would include and overhaul of packages’ calorie listings, putting the figures in bigger, easier-to-read font. Both versions also would update serving sizes to better reflect what consumers currently eat and also would list calories, sugar content and other facts for an entire package of food.

The proposal now is in a 90-day public comment period, after which the FDA will finalize the rule. After that, food companies will have two years to comply with the proposal, expected to cost food companies about $2 billion.