Saturday 16 January 2021

Consumer watchdog makes formal complaint about confusing food label

food labels, the vinkjeThe Dutch consumers association Consumentenbond has made an official complaint about the government’s decision to approve the use of a controversial food labeling system for one more year, news agency ANP said on Tuesday.

The association said last month the blue ticks used to encourage shoppers to make ‘considered’ or ‘healthy’ food choices should be scrapped from packaging.

Research published by the organisation showed 75% of consumers do not know what the ticks mean or understand the difference between the blue and green circles. Unhealthy products with high salt or sugar content, such as crisps and cola, can qualify for the label if they are ‘better’ than other products in the same category.

The association said use of the label is ‘incomprehensible’ for consumers, a key requirement for it to have official status. In addition, the association criticises the fact that companies have to pay between €1,800 and €90,000 to place the symbol on their packaging.

Research by the Dutch food industry body FNVI published earlier on Tuesday found that just 23% of consumers trust food labeling and 55% think food has become ‘too adulterated’.

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