Study Reveals Inaccurate Labelling Information on Food Products: Consumers Being Misled?

17 September 2019

The level of micronutrients in a variety of cornflour products in Mexico is significantly lower than which is stated on the products’ package, according to a recent study carried out by the Changing Markets Foundation, Proyecto Alimente and ContraPESO. The report also finds out the lack of consistency between the corporations’ rhetoric and their actual practices regarding food fortification, which may mislead the consumers.

The study examined the plain cornflour products and the flavoured ones from Maizena, which is a well-known brand in Mexico. The test results show that none of the analysed plain cornflour products (14 samples) are fortified, although it is stated on their official communication that their cornflour products are added with key micronutrients. More remarkably, in all the flavoured cornflour products tested (70 samples), the proportion of iron and zinc is less than what is claimed on the products’ labels. The differences are even more significant in recently released products.

“This study exposes the stark gap between companies’ official commitments and communication, and their actual practices on the ground. It’s simply unacceptable that large multinational companies still market products for which labelling information does not reflect the real content. Whether it is in Europe or in Latin America this kind of deceptive communication misleads consumers and clearly violates their right to transparent information about the products they buy.”

Floriana Cimmarusti – Secretary General of Safe Food Advocacy Europe (SAFE)

Given the context that micronutrient deficiency is a severe problem in Mexico, it might be questioned that whether consumers are being misled with corporations’ rhetoric on food fortification and inaccurate level of micronutrients on the labels.

The full report can be downloaded here.