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We have been on a journey to redefine how Americans think about the word “healthy” since 2015. For us, healthy has always been more than just a word on a label. So, when we were asked by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to remove the word from the wrappers on four of our nut-based bars and our website, it cut to the core of who we are.
The FDA’s request was based on a 20-year-old regulation, which stated that snack foods labeled with “healthy” as a nutrient content claim could, among other restrictions, only have a low amount of fat per serving. But nuts, the main ingredient in many of our bars, contain nutritious fats that exceed the amount allowed under this standard.
While well intended, the FDA regulation did not reflect the latest nutrition science. In partnership with health and nutrition leaders, we submitted a Citizen Petition to the FDA, requesting they update the regulation to reflect what we know today: Healthy fats, like those found in nuts, salmon and avocado, can be an important part of a healthy diet. We have also encouraged them to emphasize the importance of eating real foods and nutrient-dense ingredients.
In early 2016, we received some good news. The FDA shared that they agreed with our thinking regarding healthy fats, and issued interim guidance stating that products higher in unsaturated (“good”) fats can use the term healthy, as long as they met the other requirements.
While we’re proud that our efforts helped spur this shift, we’re eager for the healthy standard to be updated. It would mark a much needed update, one that would provide individuals with more reliable information and empower them to make healthier food choices.