Include ‘Added Sugar’ on nutritional labels

Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305)
Food and Drug Administration
5360 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061
Rockville, MD 20852

Docket No. FDA-2012-N-1210

Supplemental Proposed Rule for Updating the Nutrition Facts Label – Added Sugars: % Daily Value

On behalf of PCC Natural Markets’ 56,000 members, I’m writing to support FDA’s proposal to require the number of grams of Added Sugars to the Nutrition Facts Panel (NFP), and the creation of a Daily Value for Added Sugars. PCC is the country’s largest natural foods co-op, with 10 retail stores in the Seattle and hundreds of millions of dollars in sales every year.

Our shoppers want to know how much sugar is added to their foods. Without the declaration of Added Sugars on the NFP, it currently is not possible to know for sure.

We request that the FDA follow the recommendation of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (UK) recommendation that added sugars should account for no more than 5 percent of daily energy intake. The World Health Organization and the American Heart Association both recommend limiting Added Sugars to 5-10 percent of total calories, but state that limiting added sugars to 5 percent of calories best supports health.

As we stated previously in our comments on the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans Report:

  • We support the emphasis on avoiding sources of added sugar, which currently contributes almost 15% of the calories consumed in the United States.
  • Added sugars need to have their own % Daily Value (DV), rather than being combined with solid fats, as was the case with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. We suggest setting the DV for added sugars between 5-10% of calories, as recommended by the American Heart Association and the World Health Organization.
  • Added sugars (grams) should be required on Nutrition Facts Panels, so shoppers easily can determine whether a food contains added sugars, or natural (intrinsic) sugars such as with carrots.
  • We agree with the DGAC that artificial sweeteners (aspartame, saccharin, sucralose) need more research and should NOT be recommended as alternatives for added sugars. Instead, we should emphasize more healthful replacements for added sugars such as water, fruits and vegetables. In addition to the potential carcinogenic effect of aspartame mentioned by the DGAC, new evidence suggests that artificial sweeteners may raise diabetes risk, potentially by their effects on the gut bacteria.

Nick Rose, M.S.
PCC Natural Markets (Seattle, WA)

Related reading

Retain Country of Origin labeling

Joined 142 organizations in urging the Senate to reject an effort to repeal Country of Origin labeling

"Natural" claims on meat & poultry

Comments to USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service on appropriate use of the term "natural" on labels for meat and poultry products.

Amend Interim Country-of-Origin Labeling rule

Letter to the USDA re: mandatory country-of-origin labeling of beef and other products.