How Accurate Are Food Labels?

Tests on over 600 products show nutrition info is often well off the mark about the amount of fats, sugars, and nutrients.

How Accurate Are Food Labels? Photo (cc) by rachelulgado

They’re frequently misleading, according to The Windsor Star

Kraft, Frito Lay, Unilever and Heinz are among the big names with a product that flunked Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) testing, conducted to see if nutrition claims on labels live up to their billing.

The tests were conducted between 2006 and 2010, and while they were done on many unfamiliar Canadian brands, these American ones were included.

While labels aren’t expected to be 100 percent accurate – manufacturing equipment and the ingredients can lead to some variance – the tests account for that, and many products still fail. More than half of the 621 products tested either understated bad ingredients like fat, sodium and sugar, or overstated the amount of nutrients and healthier ingredients.

Brandon Ballenger
Brandon Ballenger @btballenger
I'm a freelance journalist living in South Florida. If I'm not writing, I'm playing video games or at the beach. My favorite spice is oregano, and I thought you should know. I ... More

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