The most attention-getting news out of the food industry last week was Amazon’s announcement Friday that it’s buying Whole Foods for nearly $14 billion. But that wasn’t the most important news.
The most important news was a largely overlooked announcement from the Trump administration that it’s bowing to the wishes of food companies — and ignoring the pleas of scientific and medical experts — by giving industry players more time to push sugary treats on an increasingly blubbery nation.
The Food and Drug Administration said it will delay implementation of planned food-labeling requirements intended to help consumers better understand how much added sugar they’re taking in and how many calories are being added to their bellies.
The agency said it was responding to “significant concerns” from “numerous stakeholders” about their ability to meet a deadline of July 26, 2018, plus an additional 12 months for smaller food companies.
“The agency is mindful of the importance of balancing its mission of protecting public health with the practicalities of implementing the amended labeling requirements,” it said in a statement.
If that was the case, though, the FDA wouldn’t just leave the public hanging as to when the new food labels would take effect. Yet when I asked Deborah Kotz, an agency spokeswoman, how long the delay would be, she was unable to answer.
“Any additional detail regarding the extension will be forthcoming when the extension is officially announced in the Federal Register,” she told me.
When will that be?
“We can’t comment on the timing.”
I took that as, “Don’t hold your breath.”
The food-labeling rollback is just one of numerous moves by the Trump administration to override measures introduced by former President Obama.
Trump and Republican lawmakers are now trying to do away with consumer protections put in place after the financial meltdown of…