News / Utah / 

Many foods are mislabeled, new study finds

By Faith Heaton Jolley | Posted - Jan 24th, 2013 @ 9:58am


5 photos

SALT LAKE CITY — Even when you check the labels, you may not really know what's in your food. A new study shows that you may not be able to fully rely on what's on the packaging of the groceries that you buy.

The National Center for Food Protection and Defense sent out a warning for consumers Wednesday stating that about 10 percent of the food purchased from a grocery likely has some kind of problem: The food may have been mislabeled, diluted or misrepresented.

Some of the biggest culprits are olive oil, honey, fish products and fruit juices. The NCFPD says that typically when juice is labeled as fresh squeezed, it may really be made from concentrate.

"In some cases, pomegranate juice has been found to be nothing more than water, citric acid and red food coloring," said Shaun Kennedy from the National Center for Food Protection and Defense.

Experts say that 65 percent of extra-virgin olive oil tested at the grocery store is actually diluted with lower grade oils.

"Consumers have almost gotten used to this flavor," said Dan Flynn, specialist from the UC Davis Olive Center. "These off-flavors that reflect the defects you find in bad olive oil."

The FDA requires all food labels to accurately indicate what's contained in the food, but researchers say that the U.S. doesn't have good enough enforcement measures.

"In the end, just as with any problem with food, if there's a problem, it's the consumer who pays, either a higher price or through illness," Kennedy said.

Researchers say that food fraud costs the U.S. at least $10 billion every year. They say to avoid being fooled, shop for trusted and well-known brands.

Photos

Related Stories

Faith Heaton Jolley

KSL Weather Forecast