Label Surveillance

Rule #1 of grocery shopping: never go about it hungry. Not only will you fill the entire cart with only God knows what, you’ll also fill it with you don’t know what. Unfortunately, for those who believe what’s printed on the front label of the package, I have sad news to deliver. It’s almost NEVER 100% true. READ THE BACK LABEL! Food labels tell the truth.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, “The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act—which provides authority for FDA’s consumer-protection work—requires that labels on packaged food products in interstate commerce not be false or misleading in any way”. If only this were true. The truth is, the FDA can only accurately monitor food labels if they have the proper resources, meaning money. No funds from the government to keep and pay inspectors, no assurance in regards to what you’re eating is true to package or safe to eat.

The average food product sold on the shelves of nearly every grocery store in the U.S. is filled with harmful chemicals and preservatives that not even animals should be eating. Recently, SaveOurBones shared with the world what they believe are the twelve worst ingredients found in most foods on your grocers shelf:

BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene): this common additive used to prevent oxidation in a wide variety of foods and cosmetics is listed by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) in 2005 as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen” on the basis of experimental findings in animals. It is also used in jet fuels, rubber petroleum products, transformer oil and embalming fluid.

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS):Loaded with “unbound” fructose and glucose molecules, studies have shown that the reactive carbonyl molecules can cause tissue damage that may lead to obesity, diabetes, and also heart disease.

Yellow #5:Almost all colorants approved for use in food are derived from coal tar and may contain up tp 10ppm of lead and arsenic. Also, and not surprisingly, most coal tar colors could potentially cause cancer.

Soybean oil:More than half of all soybeans crops grown in the US are genetically-modified (GMO) representing a meteoric rise since 1996, when only 7% were GMO soybeans. Genetically modified crops not only pose environmental dangers. There is a growing concern (and mounting scientific evidence) that genetic engineering of food plant seeds may have an unexpected and negative impact on human health.

Propylene glycol alginate (E405):this food thickener, stabilizer, and emulsifier is derived from alginic acid esterified and combined with propylene glycol. It also has many industrial uses including automotive antifreezes and airport runway de-icers.

Polysorbate 60:made of corn, palm oil and petroleum, this gooey mix can’t spoil, so it often replaces dairy products in baked goods and other liquid products.

Enriched flour:like most highly processed foods, enriched flour is devoid of nutrients and more often than not it is also bleached.

Textured soy protein concentrate, carrageenan, maltodextrin, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, modified cornstarch:All of these are basically different names to hide ingredients that either contain Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) or form MSG during processing.

Preferably, everyone should be eating organic. Organic products possess a greater nutritional value than other products. However, depending on who’s manufacturing the product, the back label should also be read on these packaged items as well. The responsibility for consumer safety rests on the consumer. We have to look out for ourselves. I am happy to report that I did recently stumble upon a website I didn’t know existed, If you can’t afford to purchase organic items and the food you are purchasing is filled with harmful products that have made their way past the FDA, report it! Your health is your own responsibility.



Photo:False Labeling Complaint Center

Sources: U.S Food and Drug Administration
False Labeling Complaint Center




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