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"There's a growing proliferation of forms and symbols, check marks, numerical ratings, stars, heart icons and the like," said Hamburg. "There's truly a cacophony of approaches, not unlike the tower of Babel."
The FDA plans to research whether one particular approach would make it easier for consumers to select healthy foods. Hamburg pointed to the success of the U.K.'s traffic light system, which uses red, yellow and green lights to highlight nutritional quality.
The Grocery Manufacturers Association said its members will work with the FDA to provide useful nutritional information to consumers. The Washington-based group -- which includes Kraft, Nestle USA and most other large food processors -- said companies already have reformulated 10,000 products to make them healthier.
Such changes includes ConAgra's move to reduce sodium in its soup, hot dogs and other products by 20 percent, and General Mills adding fiber to its cereals.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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