The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) is publishing a report showcasing many misleading tricks that food makers commonly use on labels across the EU. The report Food labels: tricks of the trade highlights three practices that sugar-coat the actual quality of foods and drinks:
- Industrial products being labelled ‘traditional’, ‘artisanal’;
- Drinks and dairy with little or no actual fruit displaying fruit pictures;
- Breads, biscuits, pasta, etc. with barely any fibre labelled as ‘whole grain’.
The problem mainly stems from a lack of EU rules defining in which cases manufacturers can use such terms. BEUC has set out recommendations for the EU institutions to make food labels more honest.
Consumer organisations from 10 countries that are part of the BEUC network have unveiled those deceptive practices.1 The three categories highlighted in the report may be just the tip of the iceberg.