Today’s Top Supply Chain and Logistics News From WSJ

Already coping with diminished sales, Hyundai Motor Co. now faces a likely supply shortage. A series of strikes this week at the auto maker’s plants in South Korea are crippling production, the WSJ’s In-Soo Nam reports, and may cut into exports of some of Hyundai’s best-selling vehicles in the U.S. The work stoppage Monday was the first full walkout at Hyundai in 12 years, and workers plan a series of shorter strikes that will test the company’s resilience as it tries to keep cars moving from the company’s sites. But supply gaps are inevitable since the walkouts hit assembly lines that account for nearly 40% of the company’s global output. Still, some analysts say there may be a silver lining. Hyundai’s U.S. auto inventory has grown to 3.6 months of supply because of weak sales, and a gap in production could provide a break to help the company clear out some inventory.

New financial backing for Flexport Inc. suggests big expansion moves at the technology-focused freight startup. Ryan Petersen, Flexport’s founder and chief executive, tells WSJ Logistics Report’s Robbie Whelan he plans to use some of the $65 million in new backing to build out both new service capabilities and infrastructure to get a bigger share of the global shipping market. The new funding brings Flexport’s total capital raised to $94 million and boosts the company’s profile with support from investors that include Founders Fund, which was co-founded by Silicon Valley billionairePeter Thiel. Founders Fund principal Trae Stephens will join Flexport’s board. The money will help advance technology Mr. Petersen says will help more closely manage and even re-direct goods while they are in transit. Getting more shippers on board would also bring Flexport the scale it needs for more buying power with transport companies.

Retailer Finish Line Inc. says a rebuilt supply chain is helping drive increased sales. The company’s same-store sales expanded 5.1% in the quarter ending Aug. 31 and sales growth accelerated from the quarter before, the WSJ’s Austen Hufford reports, as the apparel retailer scaled back its store count to get more productive. The quarter marked a turnaround in the company’s logistics operations after Finish Line had struggled last year with the rollout of a new warehouse management system that left sites short of inventory. The problems undermined Finish Line’s attempts to ramp up its e-commerce capabilities and to align its goods with a streamlined network of stores. With the supply chain now in sync, the company says it’s now shipping more goods than ever directly to consumers and getting the shipments delivered faster.

Lamar Hobbs stocking inventory at Shapeways, an online 3D Printing service in Queens, N.Y.ENLARGE
Lamar Hobbs stocking inventory at Shapeways, an online 3D Printing service in Queens, N.Y. PHOTO: AGATON STROM FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

For manufacturers trying to scale back distance in their supply chains, it doesn’t get any closer than making goods in New York City. A burgeoning set of manufacturers are finding homes in New York, defying long-term trends that have seen factories retreat from the city. The companies, from building-fixtures producers in Queens to bakers in Brooklyn, reason that at a certain, relatively small scale, producing goods within one of the world’s most vibrant consumer markets makes economic sense, the WSJ’s Keiko Morris reports. The city says the growth in smaller, niche businesses has helped halt a steep decline in the manufacturing jobs. Factory hiring even ticked up last year, and the companies that are hiring say proximity to a huge market is a major factor. Automation has also helped, allowing companies like Edison Price Lighting Inc. customize its fixtures for New York’s real estate market and get goods delivered with speed that more distant manufacturers can’t duplicate.

FedEx Corp.’s promotion of David Bronczek to company president effective in 2018 may set up the express delivery giant for the retirement of founder and Chief ExecutiveFred Smith. Mr. Bronczek is a 40-year company veteran who has led FedEx Express, the company’s signature air express unit, since 2000, the WSJ’s Mike Esterl reports, and is one of a handful of executives seen as Mr. Smith’s potential successor. Mr. Smith, who will give up the president’s title, hasn’t indicated his retirement is imminent, but he is 72 and industry insiders are watching executive movements for signs of change at the top. One of FedEx’s senior-most executives, head of market development Michael Glenn, just announced his retirement, leaving Mr. Bronczek and Chief Financial Officer Alan Grafmost obvious in the line of succession. At FedEx Express, Mr. Bronczek has overseen a business with diminished growth rates but improving profit margins in an area where ground shipping has become more prominent.


Supply chain is one of the last places where you have all of these analog problems, and there’s so much room for these problems to be corrected with digital solutions.

—Trae Stephens, a principal at Founders Fund.

Number of the Day


Average number of manufacturing jobs in New York City this year, through August.


Crude oil prices are falling after statements by Iran dimmed hopes for an agreement by major oil producers to cap or freeze output. (WSJ)

The World Trade Organization slashed its global trade forecast, projecting just 1.7% growth this year and as little as 1.8% expansion in 2017. (WSJ)

The U.S. Justice Department indicted a prominent Chinese businesswoman on charges she and her trading company helped North Korean companies evade U.S. sanctions to procure raw materials. (WSJ)

Neiman Marcus Inc. posted a $407.2 million fourth-quarter loss on a 3.3% decline in sales. (WSJ), recently purchased by Wal-Mart Stores Inc., has reportedly been buying pet-goods inventories to sell on its site without agreements with the manufacturers. (Fast Company)

Four more ships operated by troubled Hanjin Shipping Co. were arrested in China over the weekend. (IHS Fairplay)

Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. hired consultancy A.T. Kearney to consider expansion efforts as Hanjin struggles through bankruptcy. (Korea Herald)

Michelin North America will build a $270 million distribution center near Spartanburg, S.C., that will handle tires moving from the Port of Charleston to regional sites. (Charleston Post and Courier)

Texas manufacturing production and shipments jumped in September. (San Antonio Express-News)

Grocer Whole Foods Inc. took a stake in delivery business Instacart. (Internet Retailer)

Strong growth in apparel shipments from retailers like Abercrombie & Fitch is feeding growing logistics activity at Columbus, Ohio, facilities. (Columbus Dispatch)

Former U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall is joining the Eno Center for Transportation’s Freight Working Group. (Progressive Railroading)

Adidas AG unveiled the first shoe made by robots at its “speedfactory” in Germany. (Futurism)

The U.S. Federal Reserve is proposing tighter capital requirements and limitations on financial holding companies that engage in physical commodities activities. (Banking Journal)

New York-based online food delivery company FreshDirect LLC raised $189 million in a new funding round as it seeks to expand its geographic footprint. (Reuters)

Indian online food delivery company Zomato acquired logistics technology startupSparse Labs. (Economic Times)

Korean startup Soul Booster wants to manufacture and ship customized underwear. (Business Korea)

[Source:-The wall Street journal]

Elon Musk’s Dream For Colonizing Mars Just Took A Massive Step Forward


Each century has an individual that redefines the world—a person who transforms the way that we think and act, a person who fundamentally reshapes our understanding of ourselves and our place in the cosmos. This century, that man seems to be Elon Musk.

He’s the man behind Tesla Motors, SolarCity, and the Chief Executive of SpaceX—a company that has ushered us into the era of reusable rockets and which has made no secret of its intent to send people to Mars. Yes, SpaceX plans to create a  permanent Martian settlement. Musk has made it clear that he thinks such a colonization project will ultimately save the human race.

“There is a strong humanitarian argument for making life multi-planetary in order to safeguard the existence of humanity.”

To that end, Musk’s plan includes the launch of the unmanned “Red Dragon” spacecraft by 2018, then sending a new and reusable rocket by 2022 (which will be powered by the just recently tested Raptor rocket), and eventually launching humans to Mars after that—hopefully landing by 2025.

However, much of the details still need to be fleshed out. And that’s what brings us to today.

Musk’s highly anticipated speech at the International Astronautical Congress held at Guadalajara, Mexico happened this afternoon. Over the past few weeks, he indicated that, finally, he would detail how he would make his lofty ambitions a reality, covering potential colonization systems and discussing the involvement of industry and governments that will dictate the project in the years to come.


Today, Musk outlined his SpaceX Mars architecture in an attempt to prove that this mission is something that humanity can undertake and complete. He began by noting that going to Mars, becoming a multiplanetary species, is not merely a choice—it is a necessity. “We will stay on Earth forever, and eventually there will be an extinction event…and the alternative is to become a spacefaring and multiplanetary species—That’s what we want.”

The problem is, we don’t have the technological capabilities to get to the Red Planet. “Right now, you cannot go to Mars for infinite money.” To that end, the biggest hurdles that Musk outlined is making our technologies and making them economically viable. He emphasized the need to make moving to Mars the same cost as the median price of a house in the United States. According to Musk, that this the only way to make a truly sustainable society on Mars, as it would ensure that people could actually afford to move there.

The median cost of a home is around $200,000. Musk said that reaching such a price through the use of “traditional methods” for space travel would be impossible. Unfortunately, current costs would be closer to $10 billion per person, which is totally not viable.

To that end, there are 4 key things that Musk centered on in order to get humanity to Mars and make the costs work for us. They are

  • full reusability (we need to make rockets that we can use again and again)
  • refilling in orbit (we need stations that orbit between Earth and Mars)
  • propellant production on Mars (we need to be able to harness energy from the Red Planet)
  • a propellant that works (we need better, more efficient methods of travel)

Musk also clearly articulated where we currently are in relation to getting to Mars:


He broke down some of his points (and his rationale) in further detail throughout the talk, and he outlined how the staging would work—both of which you can see below:



Best of all, he went point-by-point through all of the specs for his latest tech. And notably, he made it clear that this project would need to be a public and a private partnership. It cannot be a single company leading the charge alone. Rather, the contributions will need to “snowball over time”—more investors and governments will need to chip in to make the colonization of another world work long term.

You can see a size comparison, ship capacity, and advanced details of his latest technologies below:







So, how does cost operate in relation to this project? How can we make this economically viable?

Ultimately, according to Musk, it comes down to time and a long term investment. As is true of all things in relation to technology, production scales as time passes, and this drives down cost.

You can see his projections from today in the chart below:



But when could we actually arrive there? The Mars Colonial Transporter (MCT) is one of SpaceX’s in-development rockets that is set to be part of CEO Musk’s Mars colonization plan. But he’s not the only one working on these technologies.

While NASA and SpaceX are collaborating on the Red Dragon capsule, NASA is building their own rocket (the biggest one ever) and aiming it at Mars. One contender in the race to Mars colonization is United Launch Alliance, whose Atlas V was selected by NASA for its Mars 2020 mission. Non-profit organization Mars One, another contender, declares that they “will establish the first human settlement on Mars.”

With the “when” of it all moving ever-so-closer, it’s only a matter of who will win the race to the Red Planet. Here’s Musk’s timeline:



Prior to his announcement, however, one of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets exploded on the launch pad in Cape Canaveral, Florida, effectively grounding the company from spaceflight as it continues to determine what caused the accident.

Despite setbacks, it’s evident that Musk will continue working to achieve his goal. Indeed, noting that he has a ‘proven track-record of success’ is an understatement of monumental proportions. Company after company, he has proven what he is capable of. In fact, just last night, he tweeted about the successful test of SpaceX’s newest and most powerful rocket to date, the Raptor.

So regardless of how far fetched his ideas may sound, I wouldn’t be one to bet against him. Here’s to infinity and beyond…



Today’s Google Doodle celebrates Google’s eighteenth birthday, and we take a walk down memory lane

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates Google’s eighteenth birthday, and we take a walk down memory lane

Google is celebrating its eighteenth birthday with a birthday party themed Doodle. The letter G blows up a balloon, contorts it into the Google logo, then flies away, because apparently G breathes out a lighter than air gas.

The reach of the Doodle is global, except for the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, which does not have any Doodles. Google was incorporated in 1998, but the roots of the company go back a little more than that.

The story goes back to 1995 in Stanford. Larry Page was considering joining Stanford, and Sergey Brin is assigned to show him around the school. They begin collaborating on a search engine called BackRub, which hogs all the traffic on the Stanford servers.

In 1997, Page and Brin register the domain name. In 1998, Sun co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim writes them a check of $ 1,000,000. This was when the first Google Doodle was created, when Page and Brin headed to the burning man festival in Nevada.

The first Google Doodle

The first Google Doodle

In September 1998, Google files for incorporation. Just a year after formation, the search engine gets a $25 million infusion from Sequoia Capital and Kleiner Perkin. Over the course of the next few years, Google launched search in more languages, deployed AdWords and added image searches. Eric Schmidt joined as chairman of the board of directors and then became CEO. In 2004, Gmail was launched, on April 1.

Google’s mission is to organise the world’s information. As one of the largest technology companies in the world, Google has on offer many innovative technologies. These include Google Glass, which is still used by researchers and industry bodies even though it’s no longer being sold to consumers.

Boeing has integrated Glass into its production line. Daydream is a development kit that allows easy creation of virtual reality content. TensorFlow is a machine learning framework used by Google for infusing its products with artificial intelligence that has been open-sourced and made available by Google.

Innovative projects such as the Loon hope to provide internet connectivity to the unserved areas around the world. Google seems to be on the verge of taking on Apple in the premium smartphone category with Google Pixel.

[Source:-Tech 2]

Trump Hotels Unveils Name, Details for New Lifestyle Brand

Trump Hotels Unveils Name, Details for New Lifestyle Brand

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s Trump Hotels confirmed the name of its new lifestyle brand Monday, introducing Scion.

The new four-star brand, which was first announced back in June, was inspired by the recent boom in social clubs as well as the emergence of the “we” economy, according to the hotel company.

Interestingly, Scion, which means “descendant of a notable family,” is the same name of Toyota’s automobile brand targeting younger customers. Trump’s Scion will seemingly look to do the same.

According to Trump Hotels CEO Eric Danziger, the name pays tribute to the Trump family all the while differentiating itself from the company’s luxury brand. “We wanted a name that would be a nod to the Trump family and to the tremendous success it has had with its businesses, including Trump Hotels, while allowing for a clear distinction between our luxury and lifestyle brands,” Danziger said in a statement.

The new chain will emphasize community and aims to deliver guests experiences as unique as their particular location. However it’s unclear where the brand will develop. According to Monday’s announcement, the brand is expected to open properties in “city and resort locations that have a true sense of place and personality.”

Trump Hotels Executive Vice President of New Brands and Innovation Kathleen Flores also said Scion is “fashioned with the developer and owner in mind,” pointing out that the hotels will offer a “compelling return on investment.”

READ MORE: Donald Trump’s Hotel Chain Slapped with $50K Fine Ahead of Presidential Debate

“Our business at Trump Hotels is stronger than ever and we are incredibly excited about the future of Scion, the newest brand in our hotel portfolio,” said Ivanka Trump, Executive Vice President of Development & Acquisitions, The Trump Organization, in a statement. “Under the leadership of our CEO, Eric Danziger, along with our world-class leadership team, we are so pleased to leverage our collective knowledge and experience to launch a brand that is vastly different from anything the industry has experienced before.”

While Scion is clearly targeting a different group of travelers than those who typically frequent Trump Hotels around the world — specifically those who are younger and value experiences over luxury — it’ll be interesting to see how smoothly a company synonymous with luxury can transition into the lifestyle segment.

Nonetheless, there’s a clear demand for lifestyle properties among today’s millennial business travelers.

It also remains to be seen how Trump’s polarizing presidential campaign will impact young travelers’ perception of the new brand, with only 24 percent of young voters thinking Trump won Monday’s first presidential debate, according to a survey conducted by Public Policy Polling.

What’s more, a survey conducted for Forbes earlier this year found that more than four in 10 (45 percent) U.S. residents earning at least $200,000 annually would set out to avoid staying at a Trump-branded hotel or visiting a Trump-branded golf course over the next four years.

[Source:-Travell Pulse]

Trump’s New Lifestyle Hotel Brand Shares a Name With a Budget Car for Millennials

Earlier this year, Trump Hotels announced it would launch a new brand in “response to the massive growth of the technology-centric ‘we-economy,’” and last night, the company finally gave it a proper name.

Not to be confused with the Millennial-focused Scion brand of cars from Toyota that will no longer exist as of 2017, Trump Hotels’ new lifestyle brand is just that: Scion.

The announcement was made at an evening reception held at the Arizona Biltmore hotel during the annual Lodging Conference.

Details about the new hotel brand, Scion, still remain unclear but, if the brand’s earlier announcement were any indication, it’s clear that Scion, like the car brand, will also be geared toward younger travelers and it won’t play in the luxury space. It’s more likely to play in the upper upscale category.

A press release noting the name said: “Scion, which means ‘descendant of a notable family,’ is a multi-faceted lifestyle brand developed in response to the boom in social clubs and the ‘we’ economy.”


Since Trump began his bid for the U.S. presidency, business at his hotels has been closely watched, with many wondering if his campaign would have a negative impact on his hotels’ occupancy and revenue.

The decision to avoid using the Trump name for this new lifestyle brand seems to be a logical one, especially given the fact that multiple reports suggest the name may be hurting Trump’s hotel business.

A survey conducted by Skift in May found the Trump name association to be a troublesome one for his hotel business. Out of 1,554 responses, 56.9 percent of respondents said they were less likely to stay in a Trump Hotel because of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. On the other hand, 23.4 percent were more likely, and 19.7 percent weren’t aware Trump was in the hotel business. The numbers also showed that females were less likely to stay in a Trump Hotel.

Those most likely to stay in a Trump property were the oldest and least wealthy respondents.

A recent report released by metasearch/booking engine Hipmunk on May 24 also recently said that the share of bookings for Trump Hotels on Hipmunk for the first period of 2016 were down 59.3 percent from the same period in 2015. Trump Hotels CEO Eric Danziger has said there is no validity to the Hipmunk report.

Another report from Foursquare, released in August, said foot traffic at Trump-branded properties has been down an average of 16 percent year-over-year since March 2016. Foot traffic shares had been down an average of 7.4 percent overall since Donald Trump announced his U.S. presidential campaign in June 2015.

Trump’s hotel business is primarily run by his children, Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric. The CEO of Trump Hotels is Eric Danziger, a hospitality veteran who has worked at Starwood Hotels, Wyndham Hotel Group, Carlson Hotels, and Hampshire Hotels & Resorts (now known as the Dream Hotel Group).


Survey suggests Delhiites leading unhealthy lifestyle

A study has revealed that less than half of Delhiites are leading a healthy lifestyle. It claimed that 43 per cent of people in the national capital have a lifestyle score of less than 65, which is defined as a very low score. The city’s healthy lifestyle score lags behind the all India score.

Lifestyle score were calculated on three factors — the eat better score, happiness score, and active score. Saffolalife research study released on Tuesday revealed that India’s eat better score is 58, happiness score is 55, and active score is 35. This showcases how the sedentary lifestyle of India is pulling its healthy lifestyle score down.

Senior cardiologist at Moolchand Medcity, Dr H.K. Chopra, said: “The healthy lifestyle score is an excellent tool to know about your lifestyle today and how it relates to your heart health. It puts emphasis on key lifestyle factors — physical activity, food habits, and stress/ wellness and happiness scores in addition to cardiovascular parameters.”

Delhi’s healthy lifestyle score of 65, which lags behind the all India score, calculated on the basis of research in five cities — Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, and Chandigarh — with Bengaluru leading the healthy lifestyle score at 71 whereas Mumbai is at 67.

Former chief dietician of AIIMS and president of the Diabetes Foundation (India) Rekha Sharma said: “The Saffolalife study 2016 indicates a behavioural shift towards healthy lifestyle which is good for the heart. However, many of us are still far from what we call healthy lifestyle. To achieve a complete healthy lifestyle, we have to set small and realistic goals.”

While analysing the eat better score of Delhiites, it was found that 58 per cent of them end up skipping a meal and less than half of the population (49 per cent) regularly consume fruits.

In contrast to national capital, Mumbai’s eat better score is 51, happiness score is 81, and active score is 31. This shows that both Mumbai and Delhi have a sedentary lifestyle but the happiness score of Mumbai is significantly higher than Delhi.

[Source:-The Asian age]

Thor Industries drives higher as younger buyers flock to the RV lifestyle

Thor Industries drives higher as younger buyers flock to the RV lifestyle

Thor Industries drives higher as younger buyers flock to the RV lifestyle  14 Hours Ago | 08:34

Thor Industries solidified its position as the No. 1 maker of recreational vehicles (RVs) and motor homes on Tuesday when it posted a record year for RV sales in its fourth-quarter fiscal 2016 results.

“Some people think that Wall Street only worships one god: money. But that is patently false. Why? Because there are plenty of people worshiping Thor these days, and Thor has been pretty darned good to its followers,” Jim Cramer said.

In an interview with Thor’s CEO Bob Martin on Tuesday, the “Mad Money” host noted that while housing levels are nowhere near where they were in 2006, RVs have surpassed levels achieved then. Martin attributed the rapid growth of RVs to consumer confidence and more wholesale and retail lenders in the RV space.

“That, along with just watching the younger buyers flock to the RV lifestyle, it really has helped to give our dealers the confidence to buy more inventory and to sell more at the shows. It has been definitely a positive for us,” Martin said.
Airstream camper

Patricia Marroquin | Getty Images
Airstream camper

Younger buyers these days are looking for technology integrated into the RV experience, Martin said, along with features to make camping easier. Thor has competed by introducing new features into every one of its brands this year.

Thor also indicated that it has seen strong demand from the West Coast, particularly in California.

“Definitely the West Coast is waking up … California was 12 percent of the RV market pre-recession, it dropped down to about 6 [percent]. It’s coming back,” Martin said.

Moving forward, Martin sees further growth, which could include building factories or buying additional facilities on the West coast.

“All of our products are looking at expansion … We’ve got everything geared up for more production, but we think it’s going to continue to grow. So, we are looking ahead,” Martin said.


Your health insurance might score you an Apple Watch

Apple will exclusively provide its Watch, iPad and iPhone products to Aetna for new app-oriented fitness tracking program, the US insurance giant announced. A cornerstone of the project is health tracking, so Aetna will subsidize the cost of a Watch for select customers and offer it free to its 50,000-strong workforce starting next year. Apple will also help Aetna develop new apps around medication reminders, billing (with Apple Wallet) and care management.

Aetna provided a clue as to how the Watch would be used by writing that its own employees “will participate in the company’s wellness reimbursement program, to encourage them to live more productive, healthy lives.” It could presumably also also collect detailed health and fitness data to help refine its actuarial tables and other insurance data, assuming user opt-in.

Aetna will be the first major health care company to subsidize a significant portion of the Apple Watch cost, offering monthly payroll deductions to make covering the remaining cost easier.

Apple also has a ResearchKit program that helps scientists relate heart-rate and other health data to cancer, heart disease and other maladies. It recently signed up the first major drug company, GlaxoSmithKline, which will use it for a rheumatoid arthritis study.

Apple has been working hard to getting its HealthKit app into the US health care system, so Tim Cook is understandably “thrilled” with the cozy relationship. An Aetna spokesperson told Ars Technica that “Apple will have employees devoted to providing support to Aetna on this initiative [and] … will also have a dedicated employee unit focused on this collaboration.” The Watch Series 2 may have convinced the insurer to get onboard, since it’s more focused on health and fitness than the original model.


‘Healthy’ May Be Getting a New Definition

The FDA says it needs updating.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced this morning that it has begun the process of redefining what “healthy” stands for on food labels. The term is a nutrient content claim, meaning that it can only appear on a product if it has certain nutritional qualities based on metrics like levels of fat and sodium.

The FDA noted that “public health recommendations for various nutrients have evolved,” and the term “healthy” has not necessarily kept up. Healthy diets are now more focused on the type of fat rather than the total amount of fat. But old standards have meant that foods like fat-free chocolate pudding can be labeled as healthy, while avocados and salmon cannot. Nutritionists are also more concern about added sugars than in the past—something the current definition of healthy does not reflect.

A spokesperson for the FDA noted in an email that the updated definition will “encourage companies to make a greater variety of healthy products available to consumers through both innovation and reformulation.”

The public will be able to begin commenting on the “healthy” issue starting tomorrow on the FDA’s website.

The FDA acknowledged that the redefinition was in part sparked by a Citizen Petition from snack bar maker Kind, which received a warning letter from the FDA last March asking the company to remove the word “healthy” from the packaging of some of its products. The FDA ultimately allowed Kind to keep its language after the company argued that the term was being used to describe the company’s culture and philosophy.

The guidelines are “based on 20-year-old thinking that new science has overridden,” Kind CEO Daniel Lubetzkytold Fortune at the time.

The FDA’s examination of “healthy” is just the latest move from the agency as it works to keep up with consumers’ shifting eating habits and desire for transparency. The FDA is also considering giving “natural” a legal definition; it received received more than 7,600 comments on the term and is currently in the process of analyzing them.

Don’t expect any of these changes to happen overnight. The Associated Press noted in May that it took the FDA more than six years to finalize its ruling on gluten-free labeling.


Is It Healthy? FDA Wants to Know What You Think

The Food and Drug Administration wants to know what you think “healthy” should mean when it’s on a food label.

The FDA started the public process Tuesday for redefining how the label can be used, and opens the matter up for public comment Wednesday.

“Redefining ‘healthy’ is part of an overall plan to provide consumers with information and tools to enable them to easily and quickly make food choices consistent with public health recommendations and to encourage the development of healthier foods by the industry,” according to the FDA.

“As our understanding about nutrition has evolved, we need to make sure the definition for the ‘healthy’ labeling claim stays up to date,” FDA’s Douglas Balentine wrote in a blog post.

“For instance, the most recent public health recommendations now focus on type of fat, rather than amount of fat. They focus on added sugars, which consumers will see on the new Nutrition Facts label. And they focus on nutrients that consumers aren’t getting enough of, like vitamin D and potassium.”

Balentine says the hope is to encourage food manufacturers to come up with better, healthier options.

“As a first step, we are asking for public input on a range of questions about what ‘healthy’ should mean from a nutrition perspective and how consumers understand and use ‘healthy’ food label claims,” Balentine wrote.

Related: CDC Finds Store Shelves Loaded With Salty Foods

“What do consumers expect of foods that carry a ‘healthy’ claim? What factors and criteria should be used for the new definition of ‘healthy’? We are also planning to hold public forums to get additional input and inform us of what a broad range of stakeholders and consumers think. This may take some time, but we want to get it right.”

The changes were forced, in part, by a fight with the makers of Kind brand snacks. In 2015, the FDA issued a long warning letter to Kind, saying it couldn’t claim its fruit and nut bars were healthy because they contained too much saturated fat and because it described the antioxidant content as healthy despite there being no medical definition to back up the claim.

In turn, the company asked FDA to take another look at what constitutes “healthy” on a food label, saying some of the restrictions are less than logical.

Related: New Food Labels Will be Bigger

“The current regulation was established 20 + years ago. Under it foods like nuts, salmon and avocados cannot be labeled as healthy, but items like fat-free pudding and low-fat toaster pastries can,” according to a statement from Kind.

Balentine said the “Nutrition Facts” label, which was also just revamped, sometimes isn’t enough.

“Often, there are also a lot of other terms on food packages such as ‘healthy,’ ‘low in fat,’ or ‘good source’,” he wrote.

“We also know that many just don’t have the time to consider the details of nutrition information on every package they purchase. In fact, most purchase decisions are made quickly, within three to five seconds.”

[Source:-nbc NEWS]