Medicine: New Labels for Food

How much fat is there in a can of corned beef hash? Just how nourishing is a vitamin-enriched cupcake? What is the true caloric content of a serving of diet pudding? What is the difference between orange juice and an orange-flavored drink? Questions like these have bedeviled health-and diet-conscious consumers for years. Under radical new rules announced last week by the Food and Drug Administration, people will get all that information and more on food packages.

Under consideration since last March, the new code was described by FDA Commissioner Charles Edwards as "the most significant change in American marketing since food labeling...

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