Donnell Scott knows her way around nutrition labels

By P.J. Griekspoor | Jan 15, 2019

Donnell is a member of Kansas Agri-Women and American Agri-Women. She works as a farmer, meat scientist and food labeling specialist.

It has been 29 years since the Nutrition Labeling Education Act passed Congress, which required all food to have a label breaking down nutritional information and listing the calorie count. Most Americans have come to rely on that label to help guide decisions about their diet.

Creating nutritional labels for a vast array of foods and food products is a livelihood for Donnell Scott, who works at AIB International in Manhattan, Kan.

Most people, however, don’t give much thought to how those labels are created or how their accuracy is verified. For Donnell Scott, who farms near Manhattan, Kan., labeling is a livelihood. She works for AIB International (formerly known as American Institute of Baking), creating labels for hundreds of food packages.

Scott also serves on the food labeling and education committees for Kansas Agri-Women and American Agri-Women and is a past vice president of education for American Agri-Women. She says her work experience in meat quality control and food labeling, and her background as a farm wife and now a farmer herself following the death of her husband two years ago, make it easy for her to help educate consumers about food labels.

“Usually, when you mention labeling, everybody immediately thinks of controversies such as bioengineered foods or ingredients,” she says. “But there is a lot more to the nutritional label regulations than many people realize. And people are going to start seeing new labels in January of 2020 as the changes that FDA put in place two years ago hit the mandatory compliance date.”

For companies with $10 million or more in annual sales, the mandatory compliance date is Jan. 1, 2020. Smaller companies have until Jan. 1, 2021 to comply.

The biggest change will be that calories per serving will become a lot more visible with calorie counts in bigger print size. That’s a regulatory attempt to combat obesity by making Americans more aware of their total calorie consumption.

Read more at Kansas Farmer.

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