Friday, July 18, 2003

Ban misleading food claims

The European Commission is proposing to clamp down on vague and unproven claims made by food manufacturers.

Statements like 'fat-free', 'light', and 'high-fibre' would be subject to stricter scientific checks, and vague claims to improve immunity or concentration would also come under the spotlight. All of which is a bit patronising. Do they really think that people don't take such claims with a pinch of salt already? However, if we really want a crackdown on misleading food claims, we could start at the very top. Here in the UK, the Food Standards Agency has in the last few months produced reports stating that we are at risk from excess salt, saturated fat and cheap squash. Yet the evidence put forward for these statements is dubious. Perhaps these claims, designed to be taken deadly seriously, should be put to the test properly before the authorities start handing out bans on food labels.

Brussels crackdown on food health claims, Guardian, 16 July 2003

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