Consumer organisation Consumentenbond wants clear rules for the use of qualifications like ‘pure’ or ‘natural’ on products because they are ‘being used willy nilly to give products a healthier image’.
The Dutch commodities act (Warenwet) does not have any rules for claims such as ‘containing natural ingredients’ or ‘100% natural’ and ‘pure’, the Consumentenbond said, but people are taking them seriously and associating them with healthy eating.
‘We encountered the terms ‘natural’ and ‘pure’ on products that can hardly be said to be healthy, such as sweets, sugar cubes, fizzy drinks, crisps, sauces and ravioli. But because there is nothing in the rules to stop them, manufacturers can use the terms in whatever way they like and that is opening the door to misleading claims,’ Consumentenbond Sandra Molenaar said.
A survey conducted by the consumer organisation shows that half of respondents thought that the term ‘natural’ should not be used for processed foods and three quarters wanted clearer rules.
The Consumentenbond is calling for European wide guidelines for the claims. Until such time, the Dutch government should tighten the rules, it said.
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