Why you can’t call nuts, avocados, olives, or salmon “healthy” - The Washington Post:
"Earlier this year, the FDA sent the maker of Kind Bars a stern message. The company, which sells granola bars, among other things, was using the the word "healthy" on its packaging. And that wasn't going to fly.
"The labels of the aforementioned products bear the claim 'Healthy and tasty, convenient and wholesome,'" the warning, which is available online, said. "However, none of your products listed above meet the requirements for use of the nutrient content claim 'healthy.'"
Specifically, the government was talking about the company's Fruit & Nut Almond & Apricot, Fruit & Nut Almond & Coconut, Plus Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate + Protein, and Fruit & Nut Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew bars, which, it said, would be removed from stores if the packaging wasn't changed. The bars, which are essentially just nuts and fruit and little sugar, had too much fat for the FDA's liking, and Kind acquiesced, because what choice did it have?
But the battle is hardly over. By engaging the company publicly, the government opened the doors for a broader and thornier discussion, which revolves around what has become an increasingly provocative point of contention: What exactly does "healthy" even mean? And Kind gladly stepped through.
Last week, the company announced that it was launching a citizen petition, protesting what it argues is an outdated and misleading official policy regarding the use of the word "healthy." While Kind's protest comes with a tinge of self-interest—after all, the company would like nothing more than to return to its old labels—it raises an interesting question about what can and can't be called healthy under current regulations.
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