Friday, September 14, 2007

Symbols for food labels

…Uh-oh, the FDA is mulling again.

…This time, instead of warning that medicines will give you a heart attack “so be mindful,” they are contemplating a foray into post-illiterate America and may propose symbols to be placed on food packages.

….Supposedly, these “logos” are for harried shoppers so they can buy healthier stuff. Be real. They are for people who can’t read and for the chart-averse.

…Such logos are already in use in Britain, Sweden and other places. Hey, people can read there—so maybe that’s not the reason.

…Here, though, companies sort of devise their own symbols, which has led to a confusing patchwork.

…PepsiCo uses a “Smart Spot” (that green thing) on Diet Pepsi, baked chips, and other products. Another chain, Hannaford, rates foods on a zero to three-star system.

…In Britain, they use the traffic lights—red, green, and yellow--to show whether a food item is low, medium, or high in fat, sugar, and salt.

…Who knows what we will get. HA knows the guy who designed the Universal Product Label—that yellow, black and white thing that’s on everything. That took tons of meetings.

…How about a celeb system? Bob’s Big Boy on fatty, sugary stuff and Nicole Ritchie on low-cal. Or how about Mr Yuk? He could get a second job on some foods.

…What do you think, guys?

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