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An Investigation Of Food Labelling - Essay Example

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An Investigation Of Food Labelling

Consumers have other concerns about the food that they eat. There is a wide range of environmentally conscious labels for the benefit of consumers. According to Kuchment (2007), they are designed to, "...profess to safeguard salmon, preserve rainforests, protect migratory birds and allow cows and chickens to roam free". There are labels that have trendy and sometimes misleading names. Food may be labelled 'Bird Friendly', 'Grass Fed', 'Seafood Safe', or 'Organic'. While these may seem to be easily understood, other labels might actually be designed to mislead. Milk labelled "rBGH free", a growth hormone must be accompanied by a statement from the FDA that says they have "... found no difference between milk with and without rBGH" (Hattam 2006). However, other studies have found a connection to rBGH and health problems in cows and people. It is no small wonder the consumer is confused by food labelling.If confusion was not enough, there is also the issue of believability. Can consumers rely on the labelling information? Aside from errors, differences in measurement techniques, and variations in serving size there may also be incorrect information due to fraud. GM contamination has been found in some grain products as the newly developed foods cross-pollinate non-GM food sources. While this may be simply an oversight, a recent study indicates labelling fraud may be widespread. According to Ravilious (2006), "In 2002 the UK's Food Standards Agency (FSA) carried out the first DNA survey of basmati rice sold in the UK. It found that only 54 percent of the bags labelled as such contained pure basmati rice". No matter what information the label contains, it is of no value if it is not credible....
Ingredient requirements, nutrition format, and language all come into question. Individualised convenience labelling for environmental concerns and country of origin can add further confusion. A recent system proposed by the UK Food Standards Agency would simplify labels with a traffic light system. According to Hall (2007), "The simple system uses red, amber and green signs to show at a glance if a food contains high, medium or low amounts of salt, fat, saturates and sugar". Manufacturers that fear a big red light on their products are fighting the system. Yet, labelling may need to be simplified. A recent study revealed that less than half the restaurant patrons would read a food label if available (Krukowski, Harvey-Berino, & Kolodinsky, 2006, p.2).
Simply conveying the nutritional value and calories is difficult enough, but there is also the issue of language. Recently some member nations of the EU have called for language uniformity. According to Borowiec (2002), "The latest EU edict specifies that no country should "impose" its language on food products but should use the language most understood across Europe". To most people this means English, but the French is hotly contesting it. Language becomes an even greater issue in international trade.
Though labelling can be confusing, it is something the consumer wants. The issue of Genetically Modified (GM) food had been a subject of constant debate. During the debate, Europeans illustrated their commitment to fair labelling practices. According to Golan, "This is particularly true in the EU where even before labelling was required, many grocery stores and food chains had developed non-biotech product lines" (p.34). New technology has brought about greater demand for ...Show more

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The essay "An Investigation Of Food Labelling" concentrates upon beginning an investigation of food labelling. As a rule, it's necessary to determine who is responsible for the labels on food. Generally, food is subjected to local laws, regional laws, and international standards…
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