FDA Announces Intended Consumer Research on "Healthy" Claims

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On May 6, 2021, the FDA issued a procedural notice on the preliminary quantitative consumer research it plans to conduct on symbols that could be used in the future to convey the nutrient content claim “healthy.”

This research is part of the FDA’s Nutrition Innovation Strategy, which seeks to reduce the burden of nutrition-related chronic diseases and to modernize claims. By using a symbol for a nutrient claim, the goal would be for consumers to have a quick signal about what benefits a food or beverage they choose might have.

As part of its efforts to promote public health, FDA proposes to conduct three consecutive quantitative research studies–an experimental study and two surveys–to explore consumer responses to the draft front-of-package (“FOP”) symbols that manufacturers could voluntarily use on a food product as a graphic representation of the nutrient content claim “healthy.”

The FDA is inviting public comment on the following issues: “(1) whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of FDA’s functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of FDA’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques, when appropriate, and other forms of information technology.” Comments can be submitted here.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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