I am again taken aback by food product labelling. Food labelling is telling consumers what they want to hear to get them to buy the product. And consumer trust what they want to see. Who is there to blame for this situation? The consumer who place their trust in the food company or the marketing team for delivering partial information and hide the other part that is not appealing to the consumer.
I have seen multiple examples. Fat in yogurt is labelled "% fat free" and not directly 3% fat content. Just to name a few.
Food law and regulation are there but that is not the cause of the problem. The root of the problem is us, the consumer itself. Food companies just like most other company exist for profit in exchange for products and services that consumer demands. If we demand fat-free product, then we get a label on fat-free. Labelling is based on the serving size. As the serving size decreases, you get a smaller fat content. Also, fat-free does not mean the product is completely fat-free. Rather, it means the product has a negligible amount of fat.
The fact is consumers taken advantage of. The use of specific terms such as "sugar-free" and "fat-free" are appealing to the consumer who know about the incidence of diabetes and heart disease but yet are unaware of the inappropriate ways of labelling a food product.
Another incidence on how the lack of consumer knowledge mislead consumer themselves. Calcium is advertised for our bones. When I went grocery shopping, my friend told me how great a milk product is that contain calcium, vitamin A, C and E. The word "contain" purely means contain. For a milk product, it is not surprising to contain those nutrients but he felt that the product is a good product because of that. The fact is the label is there for information but what makes him think that the product is a great product is because of the presence of calcium. He had mislead himself.
The story can go on and on... until the consumer realize how they mislead themselves or how they are mislead by others. Until then, my best advice is to look through the words and ingredient carefully.