USA: Grocery Manufacturers Of America - Public Policy Update
Additional food labeling requirements proposed by an activist group would mislead consumers into believing there is a difference between naturally occurring sugars and sugar added to food products, said GMA in comments to the Food and Drug Administration. GMA urged the agency to deny a petition by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) calling for the phrase "added sugars" to be listed on product labels.
"Added sugars and naturally-occurring sugars are indistinguishable to the body. Special labeling requirements for added sugars would lead consumers to falsely believe that added sugars are different from and worse than naturally occurring sugars in foods and beverages," said Lisa Katic, R.D., GMA Director, Scientific and Nutrition Policy. She rejected CSPI's assertion that added sugars are detrimental to one's health.
"Nutrition labeling should provide information that is material and useful to consumers when making food choices. Added sugars labeling would be inconsistent with that objective." GMA's comments are available at www.gmabrands.com.
GMA URGES SCHOOL HEALTH SUMMIT TO "PUT PHYSICAL ACTIVITY BACK INTO PLAY"
Encouraging a wide variety of nutrition choices and a greater emphasis on physical education will bring about workable solutions to health challenges facing young people, said GMA at a state-sponsored "healthy school" summit in Sacramento, CA. The two-day conference allowed educators, health experts, lawmakers, and state officials to explore solutions to rising concerns over childhood obesity and inactivity in California.
GMA pointed to a new statement released by the President's Council on
Physical Fitness and Sports bemoaning the "epidemic of physical inactivity" among the nation's youth. "We need to put physical activity back into play," said Lisa Katic, a registered dietitian and GMA Director, Scientific and Nutrition Policy. "The President's Council correctly notes that the teaching of physical education is now greatly diminished or non-existent.
"The food industry is playing a role in contributing time, money, and
innovative ideas to address this public health challenge. These efforts include partnerships with schools, community athletic groups, and non-profit organizations to encourage greater participation in recreational sports and promote increased physical activity."
Katic noted the importance of "building bridges" between various
stakeholders interested in promoting healthy lifestyles. "We need to avoid unscientific attacks on specific categories of foods which detract from meaningful efforts to address issues such as obesity, malnutrition, and physical inactivity."
GMA MEMBERS OUTLINE GLOBAL FOOD, BEVERAGE TRADE BARRIERS AT WTO MEETINGS IN GENEVA
The World Trade Organization (WTO) needs to place a greater priority on removing barriers to global trade in processed foods and beverages, said a delegation of GMA member companies in meetings with WTO officials in Geneva. GMA's International Affairs Group met with representatives of the WTO Secretariat and several trade missions, including the United States, European Union, India, Argentina, and Australia, to develop support for negotiating objectives as the WTO launches a new round of talks on agriculture and food trade issues.
GMA member companies highlighted several major problems that hamper growth in global trade, including atypically high tariff rates; higher tariffs on processed foods than their commodity components; tariff rate quotas - with prohibitive over-quota rates and inefficient administration; export subsidies; and trade-distorting domestic support.
GMA'S SUSAN STOUT APPOINTED TO VICE PRESIDENT, FEDERAL AFFAIRS;
MIA MASTEN NAMED MANAGER, FEDERAL AFFAIRS
GMA President and CEO C. Manly Molpus has announced the promotion of Susan Stout to Vice President, Federal Affairs. Stout, a 10-year GMA veteran, most recently served as Senior Director, Federal Affairs. "Susan's work and effectiveness in leading many GMA legislative initiatives, especially the National Uniformity for Food Act, has been well recognized by her peers and colleagues," said Molpus. "Susan played a major role in implementing our well-received GMA grassroots programs and Washington Breakfast Series. The energy and zest she puts into her work is exemplary." Prior to joining GMA,
Stout served in senior positions at the American Meat Institute and the Snack Food Association, managed gubernatorial and senate campaigns, and was Political Director for the Governor of Ohio.
Bringing a portfolio of government and communications experience to the job, Mia Masten has been named GMA Manager, Federal Affairs. Masten, who previously served as Manager, Member Communications, will now focus on supporting GMA's longstanding Grassroots Program, which brings Members of Congress face-to-face with GMA member companies back in the legislators' home states. She will also manage GMA's political action committee program.
Prior to her work at GMA, Masten was a Senior Account Executive at
Fleishman-Hillard, where she handled marketing and public relations for several major companies. Her experience also includes working in the White House as Special Assistant to the Senior Advisor to the President for Policy Development. Masten also served as a staff member for former U.S. Sen. David Pryor (D-AR).
Companies: Grocery Manufacturers Association
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