Three Deceptive Food Labeling Practices

Do you know exactly what it is you and your family are eating? If you’re like many other health-conscious American consumers, you’ve probably gone out of your way to look for foods that are both sustainable and free from chemicals or other substances that could wind up being harmful. However, how do you know the food you’re buying is exactly what it claims?

Truth is, you really can’t. While the FDA has a number of laws and rules dictating exactly how certain foods must be labeled and sold, several health-conscious “buzz words” have few to no regulations enforcing them, meaning just about anyone can slap that label on anything. Here are four of the most egregiously misused food labels and what to look out for.

“All Natural”

This is perhaps the most misleading food label out there, and it’s slapped on almost everything, ranging from dairy products to breads to meats and everything in between. When something is “all natural,” it implies no synthetic or GMO ingredients. However, in reality the FDA has no official definition for this label, so anything can receive this label so long as it has no added colors, flavors, or synthetic substances. In reality, the ingredients could be heavily lab-processed, but so long as they’re found naturally in other foods, they fall under this category.

“Free Range”/“Cage Free”

In an effort to discourage cruelty and forcing animals to live their lives in small cages, natural food enthusiasts and animal rights groups have strongly encouraged only buying meat that comes from animals that are raised on “free range” farms or “cage free” environments. But the definition for these terms is far from what you expect. Chickens, pigs, and other animals could be considered “free range” so long as the door for their cages is open for just five minutes per day. Cage-free is similar: while it implies that these chickens live in a sunny henhouse where they have land to explore, the reality is they live in slightly-larger cages. There is no third-party that certifies any egg producers are cage free at all.

“Fat Free”

Those who are looking to lose weight or lower their cholesterol will start looking for alternatives that are free from unhealthy substances like fats and sugars. Low-fat and fat-free foods are extremely popular as a result. However, the deception in this title comes from the fact that these foods don’t have to be completely fat-free to get this label. Less than .5 grams of fat per serving could be considered “fat free”, and foods with less than three grams of fat per serving are eligible for the “low fat” title. This in no way implies these products aren’t loaded up with sugars and other fat-causing substances. This means you should really pay attention to the nutrition facts on the labels to determine what foods are actually low-fat and healthy, not necessarily the name.

Call a Dallas commercial litigation attorney from Golomb Legalif you have been the victim of a deceptive food labeling practice. Learn more about your rights today; dial (215) 278-4449 for a case evaluation.