In the early 13th century, the king of England proclaimed the first food regulatory law, the Assize of Bread, which prohibited bakers from mixing ground peas and beans into bread dough. Ever since, it has been a cat and mouse game between the food industry and the public. People believed they had a right to know what was in their food so they could make informed decisions on what to buy and consume. Only since May 8th, 1994 have food labels meeting the strict requirements of the Food and Drug Administration been required on all packaged foods.
There was a need for a standardized label format. Otherwise, food companies would divulge nutritional information in different ways that made it difficult for the consumer to make choices.