Sunday, May 15

Cereals, breaded fish, biscuits… The CLCV association warns against packaging that it deems misleading

Be wary of the packaging of everyday consumer products. This is essentially the message that the consumer association CLCV wanted to convey by publishing this Wednesday, January 19, a vast study on the practices of manufacturers.

More than 900 products have been studied in five years, from 2017 to 2021. Breakfast cereals, beef dishes, breaded fish, biscuits, vegetable sausages, juices, yogurts… So many references including the list of ingredients, the nutritional quality, claims and mentions have been combed through.

First lesson: the packaging is misleading. “Many products highlight ingredients but when you look more closely, you find only a very small or non-existent quantity”, advances the CLCV in its press release. She cites the example of beef ravioli which only has 4% beef when others have up to 25%. The breaded fish, which children love, is also pinned. Some products have only 35% fish.

The association also denounces the claims found on packaging, in particular on 91% of juices and smoothies. For example, a cranberry drink highlights its vitamin C content but ignores its amount of sugar, which is two pieces for one drink.

Another problem is the tendency to highlight French symbols when the origin of the ingredients is unknown. “24% of vegetarian products have a French flag (or the mention of a region) but less than half of them specify the origin of the ingredients!”, denounces CLCV.

Finally, products that target children are also in the crosshairs. “Some are to be avoided because they are very sweet and not as good as products not targeted at children”, continues the association.

In order to improve transparency, it calls for “going further at the regulatory level” by requiring manufacturers to better supervise the use of nutritional and health claims. CLCV also calls for the generalization of the Nutri-Score, which has proven itself “in order to allow consumers to be better informed about the nutritional quality of the products they buy and to quickly compare food products with each other”.

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