Of all the issues the Obama administration is grappling with, a modest redesign of what food labels say about sweeteners might not have seemed among the more controversial. But ever since First Lady Michelle Obama unveiled the plan last year, a lobbying frenzy has ensued.
The objections have come not only from candy makers and bottlers of soft drinks.
The governor of Massachusetts implored the administration to rethink its proposal. The governor of Wisconsin protested too. So did the government of Australia, which warned the move could violate international trade agreements.
The proposal being considered by the Food and Drug Administration would add a new line to labels on packaged products noting how many teaspoons of sugar had been added.
The furor over the idea reveals the extent to which extra sugar is infused into even the most unlikely foods and the concerns that manufacturers have about consumers finding out. The FDA has received 287,889 public comments on the plan, including many from major food companies and trade associations.