Dispatches from SupplySide East

Mister: Daily values rule change is bad news for consumers (and for us)

By Elaine Watson, New Jersey

- Last updated on GMT

Mister: Daily values rule change is bad news for consumers (and for us)

Related tags Essential nutrient Nutrition Dietary reference intake Food and drug administration

Proposals by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to change how daily values on food labels are calculated are not in the interests of the dietary supplements industry or consumers, the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) has warned.

Speaking to NutraIngredients-USA.com at the SupplySide East show in New Jersey, CRN president Steven Mister said he expected an FDA proposal on this issue to be tabled this year: “This was first raised in an ANPR ​[advanced notice of proposed rulemaking] from the FDA​ [Food and Drug Administration] and we strongly urged them not to do it.

“But we understand they have gone ahead and ignored us, so at some point this year we are expecting them to come back with a formal proposal. And our strong suspicion is that they will come up with something we don’t want.”

Why bother with supplements?

If percent daily values for key nutrients are based on EARs (Estimated Average Requirements) instead of RDAs (recommended dietary allowances) – as the FDA is expected to recommend – the dosage needed to get 100% of your daily value would drop considerably, as EARs were much lower than RDAs, said Mister.

As a result, some consumers could mistakenly believe they were getting all the nutrients they needed from their foods and might no longer deem it necessary to buy dietary supplements, he predicted.

“We believe the only logical basis for the daily value (DV) is the highest Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) or Adequate Intake (AI) established by the Institute of Medicine.

“Changing the basis of the DV from the RDA to the EAR would lower the DV for many important nutrients, in some cases dramatically, by establishing target intake values that are at the lower bound of acceptable intakes and would meet the needs of only 50 percent of the population.

“RDAs and AIs represent targets for individuals’ nutrient intake, whereas the EAR represents the average requirement for the population. And as individuals, not populations, read nutrition labels, it follows that the DV should be based on an appropriate target value for individuals, i.e. the RDA.

“Going by the EAR would push down all of the numbers so less healthy foods would seem more healthy. EARs are based on population averages, so while the amounts might be sufficient for half of the population, they won’t be enough for the other half. Using RDAs ensures that 90 percent of the US population gets what they need if they hit them.”

‘Over-nutrified’ or ‘under-nutrified’?

As to why the FDA was considering changing the rules in the first place, Mister blamed a powerful lobby that believed the US population was becoming ‘over-nutrified’, although there was little evidence to support this contention, he claimed.

“In fact the reality is the opposite: Americans eat way too many calories but don’t get enough nutrition. The NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) data consistently show that on average, many Americans fail to achieve the recommended intakes for many nutrients.”

Related topics Regulation

Related news

Show more

Follow us


View more