FDA Nutrition Information Panel Guide – Part 2
Food is any material eaten for the purpose of providing nutrition to an organism. Food is generally of animal, plant or bacterial origin, and often contains nutrients, including proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, or other minerals. Plants are the primary source of food in diets; animal foods are used for meat, milk, eggs, and organs; while fungi, bacteria, yeast and other micro-organisms are the primary source of food in compost, urine, sweat, and other excreta. Food is a living substance that nourishes and grows in living organisms.
Industrial food production methods and additives increase the amount of toxic substances in our foods containing chemicals, pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, and other chemicals. These toxic substances are commonly referred to as hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), because they are associated with increased risks of lung cancer, stroke, heart disease, asthma, and many other chronic health problems. These pollutants can also cause cancer in humans, because some of them are carcinogenic. The additives and contaminants in food are the primary causes of the obesity epidemic.
The federal regulations and rules regarding food labeling must meet certain requirements in order to claim that a food product contains any health claims, nutrition information, or other nutrient content that might be claimed under any category of protection granted by the federal government. In order to make good food labeling, the food label must meet all of the FDA regulations and rules, which are detailed in the FDA Nutrition Information Panel Guide. Each food label must meet specific nutrition information requirements, which are outlined in the FDA Position statement on nutrition information. The FDA nutrition information panel guide and position statements contain detailed descriptions of the different types of nutrients and claimable health claims that may be made on food labels.