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After years of deliberation, the FDA recently announced a new set of rules it proposes to regulate claims on food packaging that a product is “healthy.” The most basic rule: the product must actually contain food, not just ingredients.

This may seem intuitive, but as professor and nutrition policy expert Marion Nestle points out, the food industry works hard to sell their products. This week on the “First Opinion Podcast,” Nestle explains the purported intentions behind the confusing food labels, and how it all got so complicated in the first place.


“What we support in this country is feed for animals and fuel for automobiles. What we don’t do is support the production of food for people,” said Nestle. “It seems to me that’s an obvious thing to change. Whether we’ll be able to change it or not is another matter.”

This conversation emerged from Nestle’s First Opinion essay, FDA’s plan to define ‘healthy’ for food packaging: Better than the existing labeling anarchy, but do we really need it? Nestle is a professor emerita of nutrition, food studies, and public health at New York University, a prolific blogger, and the author of the new memoir, Slow Cooked: An Unexpected Life in Food Politics.

Be sure to sign up for the weekly “First Opinion Podcast” on Apple PodcastsStitcherGoogle Play, or wherever you get your podcasts.


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