Nutrition News: Nutrition Labels, GMO-Free Products and Organic Recalls

Front-of-pack nutrition labels prompt buying, more GMO-free products contain labels, and organic-product recalls have increased.
1

1

Nutrition Labels Prompt Buying

If a product has a front-of-pack nutrition label, people are significantly more likely to buy it, regardless of whether the label brings good news or bad about the nutritional value of the product, a study has found. According to researchers at the University of Otago, in New Zealand, who published their findings in Public Health Nutrition, it doesn’t matter the size or format of the label, or even the info contained in the front-of-pack label; the mere presence of a front-of-pack label on a product causes an increase in consumers’ intention to buy the product. The authors say the results suggest a “complete functional failure” of current nutrition labels, calling for further research before countries make them compulsory, as is being considered in the United States and the United Kingdom, among others.

More GMO-Free Products Sport Labels

If you’ve noticed more products in your cart carrying labels stating they're free of genetically modified organisms, it’s not your imagination — but it may not indicate that anything about those products has changed either. Increasingly, The Wall Street Journal reports, even though the governmental and scientific consensus is that GMOs are safe, consumer concern has climbed. As a result, more sellers have begun paying to verify and label products “GMO free,” even though their products may not be among the handful of crops approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for genetic modification — or even have any genes. Still, labeling your product GMO free, if it happens to not contain any GMO ingredients, makes good business sense, some companies believe, as it may prompt consumers to choose your product over the competition.

Organic Recalls Are on the Rise

Those who eat organic, take note: A new report suggests that recalls of organic food products have taken a big leap this year. According to Stericycle, a firm that helps companies manage recalls, organic food product recalls have jumped to 7 percent of all recalled food units so far this year, up from 2 percent last year and only 1 percent in 2012 and 2013. That may, in part, be due to increased demand for organic products and the fact that they now account for a higher percentage of all food retail sales. “What’s striking is that since 2012, all organic recalls have been driven by bacterial contamination, like salmonella, listeria and hepatitis A, rather than a problem with a label,” Stericycle vice president Kevin Pollack told The New York Times. “This is a fairly serious and really important issue because a lot of consumers just aren’t aware of it,” he said. Now we are.

Amy Reiter is a writer and editor based in New York. A regular contributor to The Los Angeles Times, she has also written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Glamour, Marie Claire, The Daily Beast and Wine Spectator, among others, as well as for Salon, where she was a longtime editor and senior writer. In addition to contributing to Healthy Eats, she blogs for Food Network’s FN Dish .

Next Up

The Nutrition Label's New Look

The food label on packaged food has been there since the early 1990’s. With all the label confusion, the FDA finally decided it was time the nutrition label got a makeover (we couldn’t agree more!). Although the proposed changes were released a few months ago, a new black and white food label photo was released this morning.

Nutrition News: Packaged-Food Changes at Target, USDA GMO-Free Labels, Banishing Belly Fat

Target targets healthier foods, and the USDA introduces a new GMO-free labeling system. Also, find out the best way to whittle your waistline.

Nutrition News: Pink Slime

What’s your take on the food issue everyone’s talking about: pink slime?

Food Labeling 101: Understanding the Nutrition Facts Label

Don't be afraid of the food label on prepared foods; learn to read it right and it can be your best tool to aid with healthy eating.

This Week's Nutrition News Feed

In this week’s news: Whole grains linked to heart health, getting kids in the kitchen, and Americans still overloading on salt

This Week's Nutrition News Feed

Read about top nutrition headlines here. Food Network.

This Week's Nutrition News Feed

News about Celiac Disease and Weight Loss. More nutrition tips like these at Food Network.

This Week’s Nutrition News Feed

In this week’s nutrition news: Chocolate is good for more than just your heart, the war of the protein powders, and say buh-bye to this popular fad diet.

This Week’s Nutrition News Feed

In this week's news: A sugar vs. fat face-off; the secret to avoiding holiday bulge (yes, exercise works); and restaurants try to meet the demand for gluten-free.