1998, 2000a, 2000b, 2001, 2002a, 2003). The overarching goal is to have updated nutrition labeling that consumers can use to compare products and make informed food choices. The task of the committee was to aid this effort by providing recommendations to the sponsoring agencies, in the form of guiding principles, on how best to use the new DRIs and their underlying science in nutrition labeling. In addition, the committee was requested to provide guidance on incorporating the DRIs into approaches for discretionary fortification. In the United States mandatory fortification (usually called enrichment) refers to the situation where a food product is labeled in a manner that purports to conform to the standard of identity for the enriched version of the food. Discretionary fortification refers to all other forms of the addition of nutrients to food, including unenriched versions of products for which an enrichment standard has been promulgated by FDA. In Canada the Food and Drug Regulations specify the foods to which micronutrients may be added and the level at which they may be added. Throughout this report the general term “fortification” refers to the addition of nutrients to food. The sponsors and primary audience for this study are the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ FDA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), and Health Canada.2


Guiding Principles for Nutrition Labeling

The committee focused its analysis on the existing DRIs, the purpose of nutrition labeling, current labeling and fortification policies, and the limited information on consumer use of food labels. The committee’s main recommendations are presented in the form of guiding principles for how to use the DRIs in nutrition labeling and discretionary fortification. Boxes ES-2 and ES-3 list the 16 guiding principles.

In the first guiding principle the committee recommends that nutrition information continue to be presented as percent Daily


Health Canada is the federal department responsible for helping the people of Canada maintain and improve their health. In partnership with provincial and territorial governments, Health Canada provides national leadership to develop health policy, enforce health regulations, promote disease prevention, and enhance healthy living for all Canadians (Health Canada, 2003).

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001

Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement