Monday, April 18, 2011

Labels are there for a reason

Years ago, I read on the back page of Consumer Reports about the difference between regular and extra-strength decongestants.  One came in a yellow package, while the other came in green and was more expensive.  But both had the same amount of active ingredients.  Consumer Reports wrote a headline that read, "Yellow is for Sneezy.  Green is for Dopey."  

Labels have a purpose, and manufacturers who try to deceive their customers with misleading - or outright false - statements should be held accountable.

From The Consumerist:

Lawsuit: Campbell's "Regular" And "25% Less Sodium" Tomato Soup Both Contain 480mg Of Sodium

Here's a trick question: How much sodium does Campbell's "25% less sodium" tomato soup contain compared to regular Campbell's tomato soup? Would you believe that both contain 480 mg? And that the first one costs more? Four NJ housewives couldn't, and a federal judge has ruled that their lawsuit against Campbell's over what they call misleading labels can proceed.
Campbell's reply is that the "25% less sodium" claim is as compared to the average of "all varieties" of condensed soup, not tomato. "Campbell has complete confidence in the accuracy of our labels and our marketing communications and that they meet regulatory and other legal requirements," the company told Reuters.
regularvsreduced.jpgBelow the big yellow "25%" and big white "LESS SODIUM" on the front of the can in smaller yellow text it says "than regular condensed soup."
They may be right about meeting statutory requirements, but that doesn't mean a reasonable consumer can't still be mislead by the label on the front of the can. The lawsuit seeks class action status.