In a recent report released by the FAC, it was stated that many of country’s leading food manufacturers are acting “economical” when it comes to reporting the truth on their food labels about the quality and general healthiness of their products. Although this probably comes as no surprise for thousands of weary consumers, the extent to which the true may be “altered” is likely to cause a stir. In the detailed report of their findings, the FAC stated that key words, such as “pure”, “authentic” and “original” were all leading to confusion amongst consumers attempting to deduce the actual content of their meals.
Assuming new labelling standards were implemented, the FAC also recommends that more harsh penalties be put into place for those who intentionally work around the newly mandated labelling guidelines in an attempt to lure in new customers. When asked to respond to this report, the deputy chairman of the Food Standards Agency, Suzi Leather, was quoted as saying, "this is an important study which takes forward the rights of consumers and doesn’t pull any punches."
For the FSA, this new study is likely to be met with open arms. The organisation has been pressing for tighter labelling conventions and restrictions over the past several years, and has even attempted to implement new labelling standards in food labelling
occurring throughout Europe. Statistics show that such moves would be welcomed by the general public large. According to a recent study, 59% of shoppers regularly check the labels on the products they purchase. Unfortunately, a far smaller percentage of these individuals are able to effectively ascertain what it is they are consuming, even after a close examination of the label.
Change cannot occur, of course, until an entirely new set of standards are created that provide a solid platform on which standards can be created and products evaluated. Knowing full well that many customers blindly trust the labels on the products they are purchasing, both the FSA and FAC are hoping that new standards will usher in a new era of healthy living in the UK. Whether or not this will occur, however, is entirely dependent upon whether or not these new standards see the light of the day.
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