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MOST FOOD LABELS ARE ACCURATE

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The Food and Drug Administration says a random analysis of 300 foods taken off grocery shelves suggests new food labels are generally accurate in measuring a food's contents.

About 87 percent of all the nutrients measured, from fat and sodium to vitamins and iron, were accurate, FDA Commissioner David Kessler said Tuesday.For fat alone, the diet hazard most Americans try to spot, the accuracy was 94 percent, and for calories it was 93 percent.

Bonnie Liebman of the consumer group Center for Science in the Public Interest says that is well and good for the brand-name items tested, but that consumers "still can't trust claims on foods they get at local bakeries or delis."

Liebman cited studies that have found foods made by small companies and sold only locally are more likely to misrepresent their contents, such as the alleged fat-free muffins discovered in New York with 10 to 20 grams of fat.