Consumers are still being misled by food producers’ claims that their products are healthy or made according to traditional recipes, says the director of good food lobby group Foodwatch in Thursday’s Telegraaf.
‘Take multi-vitamin drinks which contain as much sugar as cola,’ Hilde Anne de Vries told the paper.
‘They are presented as responsible drinks. It says “with fruit juice and spring water” on the pack. In reality, they are just 12% fruit juice and stuffed with synthetic vitamins,’ she said.
Foodwatch on Thursday launched its annual hunt to find the Dutch product which makes the most misleading claims.
This year’s nomination list includes Capri drinks and Albert Heijn’s meat rissoles, made ‘according to a traditional Dutch recipe’ which contains five types of sugar, seven e numbers and meat which has been injected with water.
Rosita’s Surinamese rotis (a sort of pancake) made at a Dutch tortilla factory and Liga breakfast biscuits –which are 22% sugar – are also on the list.
Knorr’s farmers’ vegetable soup completes the line-up. The soup label promises no taste enhancers even though they have been used and the ingredients include sugar syrup.
Maastricht University food innovation professor Fred Brouns told the paper some food manufacturers are only concerned about profit. ‘They say on the packaging that the product has less sugar but don’t say they have replaced the sugar with fat,’ he said.
While the labels are legally sound, manufacturers are quick to say consumers should read the rest of the packaging more carefully, he said. ‘But most people have no idea what all the small print about kilojoules and microgrammes means and lose interest.’
Consumers have until September 30 to vote on the Foodwatch website.
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