15 April 2018 - Labeling Can be Misleading

I know that food labeling is vitally important to many people. At the same time, I am bothered by some of the food labeling that I believe appears on the label to help sell the product rather than honestly disclose any nutritional or non-nutritional values to the product.

I am pleased there is an organization called ‘GMO Answers’. They work hard to do away with myths and beliefs that are false, concerning Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s). In their most recent newsletter they talked about Vodka, yes, vodka, and one producing company that late last year started to heavily market their “non-GMO Vodka” on-line and on social media. The only problem with this line of marketing . . .there is no GMO wheat and therefore no GMO Vodka. It is just one of the many products labeled “non GMO” by companies hoping consumers will buy their products.

It has been going on for years, using labels to scare consumers into buying the product. I recall a decade or so ago, when dairy farmers started adding bovine growth hormone (BGH) to their dairy cows to increase production and it wasn’t long before we saw the ‘non-BGH’ on milk carton labels. I took issue with the CEO of a dairy in Arizona that put that on their container “There is no bovine growth hormone in this milk.” I said “How do you know? Cows produce the hormone naturally and we don’t have the technical equipment that can tell us the difference between natural and human-injected BGH in the milk.” I did not get a reply.

And then of course, there is the labeling of soy milk and almond milk that has bothered me for years. I have never milked a soybean plant, never milked an almond tree, and while I love you farmers who produce the almonds and the soybeans, I don’t think you should call it ‘milk’. Call it a beverage because milk only comes from an animal.

Food labeling is necessary and will continue, but I think we need stronger rules outlining what those labels can say, so you as a consumer can tell what is correct information and what is advertising.

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.