Regulatory News South Africa

Shock for consumers with new labelling law

Consumers are set to be horrified when they see what harmful substances they have been feeding their children in some fruit juices, when producers list all ingredients on their labels, as required by the new Consumer Protection Act that came into effect this month, and which stipulates accurate product labelling.

This is according to SurePure marketing executive Steve Miller who said that when consumers started to understand how many preservatives were in the juices they buy, or how little nutrient value was left after the ultra-high levels of heat their juice had been subjected to, they were going to be shocked, and producer brands were going to suffer as a result.

"Consumers will be able to read the labels on their juices and see exactly what kind of processed beverage concoction is masquerading as 'pure fruit juice' as the way producers process, pad and preserve their products will be a little more evident in the future and the ugly truth revealed," he said.

"If producers follow the letter of the new law, consumers will know exactly what ingredients are in the beverage, and what little nutritional value they actually contain. Consumers will be horrified at the pervasiveness of sugar, colourants, flavourants and especially preservatives most juices they feed to their families contain."

Since the act does not stipulate that "all ingredients need to be listed" manufacturers will still be able to keep consumers in the dark regarding certain ingredients in fruit juices.

Miller warns that while producers will, in theory, have to be totally truthful as to what ingredients, additives and preservatives their juices contain, they are still allowed not to list certain preservatives.

"Nor will many consumers understand the industry fudging that goes on when it comes to how much actual fruit juice is in the beverage, e.g. the muddle that is NFC, nectars vs juices, etc will remain totally opaque," he added.

Miller said that the main problem was that ingredients needed to be listed in order of weight, volume or prevalence - so water, sugar and so on will be listed. "But, we all know that some of the most dangerous additives to fruit juice, like preservatives, are added in relatively tiny amounts, so are very hard to analyse and so may slip through the cracks."

He stressed that it was not just ingredients that needed policing, but processes and practices as well.

SurePure is a global leader in liquid photopurification, the green alternative to pasteurisation and chemicals.

Source: I-Net Bridge

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