The Must Label
Consumers can use food labels to make informed choices about the food they purchase. Among other things, the label tells you what nutrition to expect in your food, by what date you must consume it, and so on, all of which you may need to work out how various foods fit into your overall diets. It also lets you compare the nutrition value of similar foods. Here, we tell our readers about the general and mandatory requirements regarding information that should be mentioned on the packaging. While these requirements are meant for manufacturers and marketers, it becomes essential for consumers to know the same – they can then be sure that their food brands are meeting the norms.
Arecent survey by Oklahoma State University Department of Agricultural Economics finds that over 80 per cent of Americans support ‘mandatory labels on foods containing DNA’, about the same number who support mandatory labelling of GMO foods ‘produced with genetic engineering’. India is not carrying such surveys yet. There is more to be done at fundamental levels as basic labelling—bare minimal requirements—are hardly being followed by all. Among other obstacles and loopholes in the system, one significant element that unfair businesses take advantage of is unawareness levels as well as the take-it-lightly attitude of consumers, who rarely bother to see beyond the price, and sometimes the date, on a label before paying for a product.