America's current food labeling scheme, as illustrated by the example of salt, is flawed when examined from the consumer and public health perspective. While the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act has sound scientific standards, those standards as currently applied to labels do not efficiently signal health information to consumers. Without better information on labels, consumers will continue to make poor choices at the grocery store. However, there are promising new ways to label. Both the United Kingdom and the domestic supermarket chain Hannaford’s have implemented simple health labeling on food packaging or grocery shelves to improve the amount and location of consumer information. This technique has a parallel in the USDA National Organics Program – which provides a marketing icon to signal consumers that the product conforms to certain production standards. This article concludes that when consumers have more complete, yet simplified information, they will make better purchasing decisions which in turn should improve health.

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Journal of Law and Policy

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Abstract available at http://works.bepress.com/margaret_sova_mccabe/1/