From Various Quarters, Pleas to Tone Down Food Marketing ClaimsNovember 1, 2009
By Ricardo Carvajal –
We’re used to seeing the Center for Science in the Public Interest ("CSPI") take a stick to food marketers. It seems that CSPI now has plenty of friends. First, Connecticut’s Attorney General trumpeted his success in gaining agreement from food companies to stop using the Smart Choices logo, at least until FDA decides what to do about point-of-purchase labeling (for more on that controversy, see our prior post). Then according to Sustainable Food News, Hain Celestial called for industry to stop using misleading front-of-pack labeling and to stop playing fast and loose with its use of “natural.” Hain Celestial is proposing the adoption of standards for “natural” similar to those used for “organic” (for our primer on “natural,” “organic,” and other “green” claims, see here). Now The Economist is piling on with an opinion that calls for greater scrutiny of health-related promotional claims.
For food marketers, it’s bad enough that regulators, the media, and even some in industry are on the case. But as the Food Liability Blog points out, it may yet be the plaintiffs’ bar that does the most damage.