Sugar is everywhere and now regulars (the FDA) are considering making an additional requirement of food companies to add a label on their packages of foods containing “added sugar.”
Go to your pantry, pick up a box or a can and then it over to the back label.
Under the nutrition label (or next to it or on top of it), you’ll find a list of ingredients. If any one of the 57 ingredients that mean sugar is listed in the ingredients, it’s got added sugar.
The good ol’ FDA already has required that every food producer label what is in their food and the nutritional breakdown of the food. Requiring that they add yet another label is just wasteful of time and energy.
I get where the FDA is coming from – excessive doses of sugar is hugely detrimental to health. I know this from personal experience. Go off sugar for a few months and you fill like a million bucks!
But requiring companies to put a label on it is not going to stop people from eating that candy bar, or can of tomatoes, jar of applesauce or box of “healthy” cereal. It’s just not going to stop them.
Putting another label on Captain Crunch indicating that there is added sugar is like putting a label on knife that says “Caution: Sharp Edge.” Everyone knows it and they don’t need another reminder, and that extra reminder won’t stop them using the knife/Captain Crunch.
Why this matters:
Regulators think you’re stupid and that you don’t know what’s good or bad for you and therefore that you need someone to tell you what to do.
They also think that they can control your behavior with cleverly worded and placed labels.
So really … they’re stupid.
And this distrust of the consuming public, and their own stupidity will cost you at the grocery store. No really, even if you don’t buy Captain Crunch, it will cost you.
Let’s say that the FDA by papal bull dictates that all food manufacturers put an “added sugar” label on all the foods where they add sugar by September 1, 2014. Well, General Mills has 4 million boxes of Captain Crunch that are being produced now, but won’t hit the shelves until September 2, 2014 and is therefore fined $50,000 for not adding the new labels on the boxes. And then, they have to pay designers to redesign the next batch of boxes to include the “added sugar” label, which costs time, and then reprint the boxes in full color which costs money. So ball park figure, General Mills is out $1,050,000 for this new requirement.
General Mills is annoyed but all things considered that’s not a huge amount of money to them. To make back the expense of this regulation, they’ll just increase the price of each box of cereal by $0.02.
Sure, two cents is probably in your pocket right now, or else under the drivers seat in your car, or stuck between couch cushions. Not a big deal. Right?
It’s not just General Mills and Captain Crunch, it’s Every. Single. Packaged. Food. Let’s say that you buy 50 percent of your groceries in packaged foods (cans, jars, boxes, bags and bottles) that means that 50 percent of your groceries will increase in price by a seemingly nominal amount and that nominal amount quickly adds up.
The price of food is already increasing. (See these articles: Rising Food Prices Pinching Consumers and As Food Prices Rise, Fed Keeps a Watchful Eye.) And now busybodies want to increase the price even more – for your benefit, of course.
So yes, this absolutely matters.