Sugar label proposal draws opposition as FDA review kicks off

Nutrition facts label on the side of a cereal box. (AP file photo)

WASHINGTON (ABC) – This week the Food & Drug Administration is beginning to review thousands of public comments on proposed new labeling regulations that would require food makers to specify how much sugar they are adding to products.

Current labeling laws only require them to list total sugar content and companies are resistant to change that.

If the proposed labeling regulations are ultimately adopted, it would mark a significant step to address a growing clamor from health groups and doctors who say that excessive sugar consumption is a key culprit in the nation’s obesity and diabetes epidemics.

Some nutrition experts contend sugars that are added to foods are greater contributors to weight gain, adding calories without the benefit of other nutrients.

But food manufacturers and sugar companies resoundingly say there is not enough evidence to suggest “added sugars” contribute differently to weight gain than sugars that are intrinsic to a piece of fruit.