I can't address the issues mentioned here - they fall into the same category of complaints that other health and fitness websites face concerning what nutrients or additives to include and how to measure them - even what to call them.
However, as a longtime fitday user with a large collection of custom foods in my collection here, I realized eventually that the reports I see can't be close to accurate unless I am eating ONLY foods that are plain and basic. All those custom foods I enter will only have the information that is listed on the can or box. There may be vitamin C, vitamin A, or some other vitamins - or even (in the case of some breakfast cereals) a long list of vitamins and minerals.
I have to go by what the food company lists on their product. However, that's not going to stop me from eating a food that doesn't list a nutrient, and when that nutrient is NOT included, it throws the accuracy of the report I'm looking at off by a mile.
The food's value will be added in along with all the other products I consume and if I ate 400% of my Vitamin E requirement, it's nice to know that as a minimum, I got that, but it wasn't listed for other products because (I believe, and I haven't looked this up) it's not required to be listed. I may have eaten 500% of the requirement and not even know it - it is voluntary for the food producer to list that a nutrient and maybe I've consumed more in other products that day.
(Confusing things even more: the values of custom foods change over time and the producer doesn't have to tell ME. For example, I entered a McDonald's filet of fish sandwich in my fitday custom foods data long ago - since then, the values have changed for that food but my entry has not. There are fewer calories, etc., in the current version of that sandwich and I'm still logging the old data when I use my entry.)
As a member of a local foods group in my area, we have had speakers from government agencies come to explain food labeling to us (the local foods group includes people who are small business owners in the food business). There are people in government who will work directly with the food producer to make sure they understand the regulations and follow the rules for listing all the necessary information on a product. It may sound complicated, but they do try to make it work for people in all aspects of the food business.
The FDA website has this information, for example, as a future possible change to nutrition labels:
'Nutrients of Public Health Significance
11. What are nutrients of public health significance?
These are nutrients that, when lacking, are associated with the risk of chronic disease. Essentially, they are nutrients Americans don’t eat enough of. The FDA believes these should be declared on the label so that people can see how much of these important nutrients are in the products. The FDA examined data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to determine which essential vitamins and minerals should be included as nutrients of public health significance. The FDA has proposed that the nutrients of public health significance should include calcium, vitamin D, potassium and iron. Calcium and iron already are required; vitamin D and potassium are being proposed to be added to the list of mandatory nutrients.
12. Why are Vitamin D and potassium being proposed to be added to the Nutrition Facts label?
Vitamin D is important for its role in bone health, and some population groups are not getting enough of it. Adequate potassium intake is beneficial in lowering blood pressure and intakes of this nutrient also are low among some population groups.
13. Why are you proposing to no longer require vitamins A and C?
Current data indicate that Vitamin A and C deficiencies in the general population are not common. These vitamins would still be allowed to be declared on labels on a voluntary basis.'
Proposed Changes to the Nutrition Facts Label
These are just proposed changes being considered. Not planned changes.
This doesn't address your question about fitday, I know. For me, it just highlights how UNLESS I eat only basic foods found listed in the government database (used by all websites that have nutrtion reporting capabilities, I assume), I am going on information from my custom database, which can only be an approximation, maybe a weak one, of what I am getting in terms of nutrtion from my diet. In the future, even the few nutrients that are required to be listed (required, not voluntary) may change.
The suggestion that fitday list only the nutrients that are always going to be reliably included makes sense but as that section of the FDA site shows, that's probably going to change. That is a nutrition-label-centric approach, though, when what the government food database includes for information is more detailed. If I ate only foods that came from the government database, no custom foods (including supplements), then any website nutrition report would probably be more accurate for me.
'Who Is Responsible For Ensuring The Safety And Efficacy Of Dietary Supplements?
Unlike prescription and over-the-counter medicines, dietary supplement products are not reviewed by the government before they are marketed. Under the law, manufacturers of dietary supplements are responsible for making sure their products are safe before they go to market. If you want to know more about the product you are purchasing, check with the manufacturer to find out if the firm:
Can supply information to support the claims for their products
Can share information on the safety or efficacy of the ingredients in the product
Has received any adverse event reports from consumers using their products
What is FDA's Responsibility?
FDA has the responsibility to take action against unsafe dietary supplement products after they reach the market. The agency may also take legal action against dietary supplement manufacturers if FDA can prove that claims on marketed dietary supplements are false and misleading.'
consumerlab.com is a resource for information about supplements. Unfortunately, you have to subscribe to their website to get all their reports and that's not free. It's a great place to find out about certain supplements and brands - even the amounts contained in the supplements are something to question!