Front-of-pack labeling poll: Facts up Front or a points-based system? Tell us what you think

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition, Iom

The Facts up Front (Nutrition Keys) labels can also highlight 'nutrients to encourage'
The Facts up Front (Nutrition Keys) labels can also highlight 'nutrients to encourage'
Front-of-pack (FOP) nutrition labels are designed to help busy shoppers make rapid, but more informed, choices about which foods are healthier.

But which scheme can best facilitate these ‘at-a-glance’ judgments is hotly debated.

Facts up Front industry scheme

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) – which is rolling out the ‘Facts up Front’ labeling scheme - says consumers prefer ‘fact-based’ to ‘interpretive’ approaches, and don’t want the “government ​[to] tell them what they should and should not eat”.

Facts up Front (Nutrition Keys) labels therefore focus on the facts, highlighting calories, saturated fat, sodium and sugar per serving and giving firms the option of highlighting two ‘nutrients to encourage’.

IOM alternative

But the Institute of Medicine (IOM) says simply presenting busy shoppers with detailed nutritional facts and figures will not help them make ‘at-a-glance’ judgments in store and proposes a “fundamental shift​” towards a system that spells out which products are healthier by ranking them via a new points-based system.

More consumer-friendly FOP labels, says the IOM, should include calories per serving – more prominently-displayed – and a rating of zero to three ‘nutritional points’ for saturated and trans fats, sodium, and added sugars.

But what do you think? Are the facts enough or do consumers need more guidance?


Click here​ to find out more about the IOM's proposed front-of-pack labeling scheme.

Click here​ to find out more about the food industry-backed Facts up Front scheme.

Click here​ to read more about FOP labeling on

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IOM Food Labeling

Posted by Joyce Hansen,

Really? If the FDA & IOM were truly interested in helping us eat healthy food and identifying what is in our food, they would put five letters on the front label stating "contains GMO/BT Organisms". This would let us choose whether or not we want to ingest these genetically modified pesticides and herbacides into our human body or not! That would give us a choice.

Consumers have no real choice when it comes to what goes into our food. That is sad and deadly!

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Real Science or Pseudoscience

Posted by Neil Guidry,

Will the packaging labels be based on a standardized size and peer reviewed scientific information used to prepare the labels? If both of these are not met then labeling is a waste of time and does nothing but make the general consumer more ignorant to scientific facts. There is enough pseudoscience based info being presented as fact. When the government has an organization that bases their regulatory decisions on peer reviewed science and not political agenda science this program will work. Until then the pseudoscientists will continue to perpetuate a state of fear to advance their personal agenda.

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Front of Label - they are focusing on the WRONG info

Posted by Michael Wiley,

Folks, I know from experience and its proven time after time by these "fad diets" that we are focusing on the wrong area of food!!! It's not about calories, fat, etc. It's about INGREDIENTS! I have been sick the past year now and my nutritionist put me on a strict "no alcohol, caffeine or sugar" diet. Without any type of exercise or other restrictions, I've lost over 2 lbs in 10 months! I also was pretty strict on not eating junk otherwise (trying to buy organic, eating fresh food, etc.).

It's all a scam and until America wakes up (I don't think they will however), this portrayal of focusing on so-called nutrition will continue and food companies will continue to introduce artificial, synthetic additives that will continue to harm us all physically and mentally adding to the decline of this great nation and as a human race. I bet my life on this as I'm living proof it works. I am healed and no longer am Bipolar Type 2 and feel GREAT! It works but it's not easy, takes time and costs plenty (I personally believe my health is worth every cent). Most people are not willing to go through the sacrifice and want it all now. The political climate and state of our declining country is proof...they want their cake and eat it too. As a matter of fact, these people expect and are now demanding it. But that's for another story ;).

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