Posted by Jonathan Wright
October 20, 2015
By Jonathan Wright
October 20, 2015
Importance of Truth in Labeling Part 2
Continuing our message on the importance of reading labels we present here 8 additional misleading Food Labels and what they really mean and why we continue the fight for Truth in Labeling:
No growth Hormones – usually you will see this claim in ads for pork, chicken, turkey, beef and even milk. While the US Dept of Agriculture doesn’t allow farmers to feed hormones to pork or poultry they get around it by feeding animals antibiotics which speed growth in the same way hormones do. Further increasing our resistance to antibiotics.
Natural – unfortunately there isn’t an official definition for the term. The USDA has defined it as any product that contains no artificial ingredient or added color and is minimally processed. However this does not include whether the item was fed antibiotics or hormones or contains GMO’s.
Grass fed -While the USDA intends this to mean that the animals were fed only 100 percent grass and no corn or soy the producer only has to provide documentation that this is the case, there is no follow up to ensure this is the case and while this rule only applies to beef you will find this label on chickens and pork, animals that cannot survive on grass diets alone.
Anti Biotic Free – another meaningless term, that is actually illegal to place on packaging. However manufacturers make small changes to the wording like “raised without antibiotics” to get around the rules. Many meat producers use anti microbials, identical to antibiotics, to fatten up chickens and hogs faster thereby getting them to market faster.
Nutritional Facts – did you know the FDA allows food manufacturers to use averages for many of the listed Nutritional facts on the food labels like salt content and trans-fats? The FDA allows for as much as 20% differential , so the 300 calorie snack you are having could have as many as 360 calories. For Trans fats manufacturers are allowed to put zero trans-fats if the serving is below .5 grams and while that doesn’t seem like much it’s a quarter of a day’s worth!
Made with Real fruit – doesn’t mean ‘whole’ fruit it can mean fruit juice or extract which means fewer nutrients and more sugar.
Multi Grain – This means your bread, chips or crackers contain two or more grains but not necessarily whole grains. Many times they are refined grained which have a much lower nutritional value.
Reduced Sugar, Low Sugar or no Sugar added – Reduced Sugar means less than 25% of the original product, Low sugar has no definition so can mean any amount and No sugar added means no sugar was added during the manufacture of the product but that doesn’t mean there is no sugar in the product, it may still contain “fructose” which will still show up on the label under added sugars (exp. Unsweetened applesauce)
Add to that the hidden MSG, Food Coloring, Aspartame, pesticides and other unidentified additives and you can see why we continue to challenge the Big Food Manufacturers on their labeling practices…Take a minute and sign the petition from Citizens for Health to amend the FDA Proposed Rules on Food Labeling, HERE