The Grocery Manufacturers Association has slammed a new food rating system by the Environmental Working Group, calling it “severely flawed” and saying it will give consumers “misinformation” about the food and beverage products.
EWG launched Food Scores: Rate Your Plate on Monday. The food database and mobile app houses ratings and other information for more than 80,000 foods from about 1,500 brands.
EWG says the tool is the most comprehensive food-rating database available to consumers, factoring in not only nutrition, but also “ingredients of concern,” such as food additives, GMOs and contaminants. Every product in the database receives an overall score, from 1 (best) to 10 (worst).
The industry group, whose 300-plus members include Coca-Cola, General Mills and Kraft Foods, calls the database “inaccurate and misleading.”
“The methodology employed by EWG to develop their new food ratings is void of the scientific rigor and objectivity that should be devoted to any effort to provide consumers with reliable nutrition and food safety information,” GMA says. “Their ratings are based almost entirely on assumptions they made about the amount, value and safety of ingredients in the products they rate. Adding insult to injury, EWG conducted no tests to confirm the validity of any of their assumptions.”
GMA instead suggests consumers follow the federal government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans, eat a variety of foods as recommended by ChooseMyPlate.gov, and exercise regularly.
In August, GMA launched an initiative that will, among other things, give the FDA access to a database of food companies’ safety information for chemicals and other ingredients used in processed foods.