Nutrition Facts Delay: Latest Salvo in Trumps War on Food

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Friday, September 29, 2017

The Trump administration delayed a long-awaited update to nutrition labels on packaged food Friday, launching yet another assault in its war on good food policy.

The Food and Drug Administration’s proposal to give food companies until at least 2020 to update the Nutrition Facts labels on their packages is the administration’s latest step to make food less healthy and less safe, while giving consumers less information and transparency. The new version of the Nutrition Facts label will make calorie counts more prominent and disclose added sugars, but the FDA wants to give large food manufacturers at least two more years to comply.

Since taking office, President Trump has waged a full-scale campaign to roll back decades of food policy progress. If successful, this administration would do more to increase hunger, obesity and food-borne illness than any other in U.S. history.

Since taking office, Trump has:

  • Proposed to cut food safety funding by $117 million.

  • Proposed to cut funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, by $193 billion.

  • Weakened new rules designed to drive junk food out of U.S. schools.

  • Proposed to eliminate several programs that helped farmers sell directly to local consumers.

  • Proposed to eliminate funding for an entire division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that works to reduce obesity.

  • Withdrawn new rules to protect drinking water supplies from polluters.

  • Postponed new rules designed to strengthen animal welfare standards on organic farms.

  • Reversed a ban on a pesticide linked to brain damage in kids.

  • Punted on new rules to protect farmworkers from pesticides.

  • Mothballed new voluntary sodium guidelines that would drive reformulation of foods.

  • Failed to issue a draft rule on disclosing genetically modified ingredients in food.  

In addition, the administration has called for so-called regulatory reforms that would forever block agencies like the FDA and the Department of Agriculture from adopting new rules designed to keep food safe, update food labels or provide students with healthier meal options in schools. On Monday, Trump will likely double down on his efforts to make America less healthy during a speech on “regulatory reform.” 

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