Monday, May 16

Consumption. Falsely “detox” products, stuffed with additives: an association demands more constraints on packaging

A juicy strawberry on a pot of yogurt containing very little, nutritional promises on foods that are too rich… The association for the defense of consumers and users CLCV calls on Wednesday for better supervision of industrial practices on packaging consumer products.

The association has “screened the packaging and composition of nearly 900 products” in five years, from 2017 to 2021. Whatever the product concerned, breakfast cereals, beef dishes, breaded fish, biscuits, vegetarian products, energy drinks, yogurts, the association has identified practices “which mislead the consumer”.

Beef ravioli with 4% beef

These are, for example, “beef ravioli which only contain 4% beef”, or a dairy product displaying a beautiful fruit on its packaging when it contains “only a very small amount, or even non-existent”. , notes the association, which also alerted to “nutritional or health claims”, for example via the use of terms such as “detox”.

“As for the origin of the ingredients, it very often remains unknown despite the many French flags that we have noted but which in fact indicate the place of packaging or manufacture”, still regrets the CLCV, which finally alerts on certain products for children. “very sweet, greasy, salty and full of additives”.

A maximum threshold of additives claimed

How to improve consumer information? The association calls in particular for “the establishment of minimum thresholds for ingredients in order to be able to highlight their images”, as well as “better supervision of the use of nutritional and health claims”.

It also considers “essential to establish maximum quantities of additives, flavorings, salt, fat and sugar in children’s products”, encouraging manufacturers, “without waiting for binding regulations”, to to use fewer additives and flavorings and to be more transparent about the origin of products.

“Regarding the practices of manufacturers, we have noted, following our surveys, improvements in the recipe of certain products, removal of mentions, the display of the Nutri-Score which was not displayed before…”, explains Lisa Faulet, scientific and food manager of the association. But these changes “are unfortunately not generalized to all products since they are voluntary initiatives by certain brands”, she continues, calling for “going further at the regulatory level”.

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