What's labeled, what's not?

Registered Dietitian says food labels are not as forthcoming as they could be


For decades we've been eating up genetically engineered foods, we just didn't know we were doing it!

GMO's line grocery store shelves, but you wouldn't know it by the label. And even though there's no solid scientific research proving GMO's are harmful, 90 percent of Americans want them to be labeled.

But the labeling battle is not just about GMO's. Consumer Kim Asmus says she's even concerned about what her children are drinking.

"I already am a little questionable when it comes to dairy," Asmus said.

The dairy industry wants to change how artificial sweetener is labeled on products like milk and yogurt. The FDA is reviewing a proposal that would allow flavored milk with artificial sweetener to simply be labeled "milk" as opposed to "reduced calorie chocolate milk," which is the way you see on store shelves now.

Dairy manufacturers would still like to list artificial sweeteners on the backside of the container, in small print. But Registered Dietitian Karen Ansel says that type of labeling is not as forthcoming as it could be.

"That's a pretty big change," Ansel said. "You're not going to get that shout out on the cover that tells you that the milk has been changed."

Ansel believes the verdict is still out on artificial sweeteners and their effects on health. If you want flavored milk, Ansel suggests sweetening it the old fashioned way with chocolate syrup. She says you can control sugar intake more that way.

But for Asmus, she's going to buy local and know exactly what she's eating.

"Once you start, again, chemically altering things, using artificial sweeteners and stuff, I probably would stay away from it," Asmus said.

If the FDA approves the dairy industry's proposal, labels wouldn't change immediately. Experts say that could take years. For now, it may be a reminder to take a closer look labels and know what's inside and what's not.