Consumer group slams misleading food claims, wants government action

food claimsThe Dutch consumers’ association Consumentenbond has urged the food safety authority NVWA to get tough on misleading claims made by food manufacturers.

Claims on packaging such as ‘rich in fibre’, ‘low fat’ and ‘rich in vitamin C’ mislead shoppers into thinking products are more healthy than other similar ones, the association says in Tuesday’s Trouw.

‘The law is clear. Information on labels may not mislead, so they should not suggest that one product is more healthy than another similar one,’ Consumentenbond director Bart Combée said in a statement.

In particular, the association is angered by claims which lead consumers to believe that unhealthy products are good for you. These include adding ‘with vitamin B’ to a label on sweets or describing potato-based snacks as ‘a source of fibre’, Trouw says.

Among the products singled out for Consumentenbond derision are Sourcy Vitamin water. ‘Water is good for you but “vitamin water” is not water at all,’ the association says. ‘It is a soft drink with water, sugar, colouring, flavouring and yes, a few vitamins for fun.’

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