Legal regulation of the food industry as a public health measure

Obiajulu N Enaohwo, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Background. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is an agency of the federal government that is responsible for monitoring and maintaining public health through the regulation of many industries, including food safety. Through the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990, the FDA was granted authority over the implementation and regulation of nutrition labeling on packaged foods. Many nutrients are printed on nutrition labels as well as their percent Daily Values. Research has been undertaken to examine the evidentiary basis the FDA relied upon in making its determinations regarding which nutrients to include on nutrition labels as well as their Daily Values. Methods. Relevant legal policies, scientific studies, and other published literature (either in print or electronic form) were used to collect data. Results. Results demonstrated that the FDA did not employ one single method in its determination of which nutrients to select for inclusion on food labels. The agency relied upon current public heath studies of that time as well as recommendations from the U.S. Surgeon General.

Subject Area

Food Science|Law|Public health

Recommended Citation

Enaohwo, Obiajulu N, "Legal regulation of the food industry as a public health measure" (2012). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1516304.