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Do you trust food labels? I don’t know about you but I’m forever staring at the back of boxes and packets and screwing up my eyes as I try to scrutinise the ingredient labels in shops.
I’m sure I look a pretty sight as I hold packets up to the light and contort my face as I try to read the, often tiny, print.
Many of us do not place much trust in our major food brands when it comes to food labelling. Research carried out by Data Label has discovered that 31% of people do not trust the information they find on the labels of pre-packaged food. Like me, these people must all be making their eyesight go blurred as they try to get their brains around the confusing and often misleading lists as they shop.
I know the government was advised some years back to introduce a traffic light system for many of our foods but rather than make it law they allowed this to be brought in on a voluntary basis. So now we have the ultimate confusion. Many companies decided to use their own alternative system whilst others adopted the traffic lights. Now consumers have to fathom it out for themselves just exactly what it is they are about to eat.
Misleading health benefits are top of many people’s irritant list. There are so many claims and counter claims and many of us just don’t trust the misleading jargon that many brands use. Brands can be sneaky and loose with the truth. So they shout out loudly on the packet about being low salt or low fat. But when you look at the small print you get to find out that that might be true but it’s full of sugar or artificial colours and flavouring as well.
In an article in www.femalefirst.co.uk Philip Carlyn, Managing Director of Data Label, stated of the results “It’s sad to see that so many people are quick to distrust labelling on pre-packaged food. We expect food labelling to have clarity and to be easy to understand so that as consumers, we can make healthy choices, but unfortunately it seems that many people don’t find this to be the case.”
Until the government bite the bullet and take the issue seriously enough to force manufacturers to be straight with us I’m afraid this is going to continue. We’ll all still be in the supermarket isles with our magnifying glasses trying to find out what it is we are actually eating.