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© FSANZ 2005 1 Misleading Food Labels Melanie Fisher General Manager Food Standards Australia New Zealand October 2005
© FSANZ 2005 2 Types of communication Truthful and not misleading False Truthful but misleading
© FSANZ 2005 3 Truthful but misleading Omissions Confusion based Same attribute Different attibute Source based.
© FSANZ 2005 4 Ommission Failure to disclose relevant information ‘Low in sugar’ - but high in fat (diabetics)
© FSANZ 2005 5 Confusion based Consumers mislead by use of language, symbols or images ‘only 10% fat’
© FSANZ 2005 6 Same Attribute Truthful statement about a product that may lead to incorrect inferences about the same attribute in that or similar products ‘this oil is cholesterol free’
© FSANZ 2005 7 Different attribute When consumers wrongly believe two attributes are related ‘no cholesterol’ does not necessarily mean low fat
© FSANZ 2005 8 Source based Consumer trust in endorsements and third parties Assuming a logo relates to an independant third party accreditation system
© FSANZ 2005 9 Impact on consumers Environmental characteristics Individual characteristics Label characteristics
© FSANZ 2005 10 Australian case study Food Standards and fair trading law Current focus on health claims (and fortified foods) Ensuring balance between consumer choice/industry innovation and consumer protection Need for new skills and different evidence base to develop effective regulation standards
© FSANZ 2005 11 Health claims - concerns Consumers will be mislead and will distort their diets confusion based – graphics, words, images Same attribute – calcium in fish Different attribute – calcium in juice vs milk
© FSANZ 2005 12 Response Complex area and very dependant on consumer perceptions Commissioned consumer research and literature reviews Are proposing a range of regulatory responses – degree of intervention depends on degree of promise/risk
© FSANZ 2005 13 Regulatory approaches Prohibition Pre-market approvals Limits – eg fat, salt and sugar Disclosures Education No regulation
© FSANZ 2005 14 Conclusion Truthful but misleading more difficult to define and regulate than false claims Consumer responses and preceptions complex and varied – analysis required Degree and type of intervention should be effective and appropriate to the degree of risk
© FSANZ 2005 15 Copyright © Food Standards Australia New Zealand 2002. This work is copyright. You may download, display, print and reproduce this material in unaltered form only (retaining this notice) for your personal, non- commercial use or use within your organisation. Apart from any other use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, all other rights are reserved. Requests for further authorisation should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
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