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Identifying Misleading Food Labels and Products

It’s no surprise that nowadays, grocery store shoppers are overwhelmed by the amount of information that is plastered all over their food packaging. Organic, Non-GMO, All Natural, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Natural Flavoring, the list goes on and on. There are so many labels that shoppers seem to just skim over the list, guess what the labels actually mean, and purchase the item with no clue if what they selected was appropriate for their needs. However, consumer don’t have to be left in the dark. Here are a few common product labels, what they mean, and how you can identify them the next time you see them in the grocery store.

Strengthens Immune System

This label is not regulated by the FDA and can be found mostly on juice or juice blends. This label is ignored largely because the claim states that the product will ward off disease, rather than cure it. So, the next time you see, “Strengthens the immune system with a dose of Vitamin C”, remember that any food product can make this claim too.

Cage-Free

While it’s nice to know that the hens who laid your chicken eggs were not cooped up in a cage, that doesn’t mean the hen ever got to see the great outdoors. Egg companies can pay for their product to be labeled “cage-free” and do have to prove their hens aren’t caged. However, the FDA doesn’t say that hens can’t be raised locked inside a barn their entire lives with no access to sunlight or pasture. For consumers who take humane growing practices seriously, this label can be a bit misleading dependent on how you expect the hens to be raised.

Natural

Probably one of the most popular food labels out there, the definition of a natural food product will be dependent on what the company defines as natural. This means that the standards held in order for a food to be called natural defined by Kellogg’s will be different from that of Hostess. The USDA and FDA does not regulate the “Natural” label, so foods labeled as natural can still have artificial or genetically modified ingredients.

Research the different labels you see at the store to better your knowledge on how to avoid some of the more misleading food products. If you are a victim of misleading or false labels, give the California lawyers at CounselOne a call to schedule a free consultation today.

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