Misleading advertising - is it ever a good business decision?

I was reading a women's magazine this past weekend and came across an article that focused on how to read nutrition labels. It gave some tips on how not to take food packaging labels at face value. Given the health – or lack thereof – of our nation, it really angers me because nutrition labels are often confusing - if not outright misleading, making it more difficult for consumers to make healthy, informed choices.

This is particularly the case when it comes to the advertising on the front of food packaging. For example, do you know what the differences between ‘100% wheat’, ‘100% whole wheat’, ‘whole grain’, and ‘multi grain’? They all sound healthy - don't they? But they are not all of equivalent value to your health.
Click here for a resource that explains them in simple terms.

In Canada, the statement
‘fat free’ can be used on the labels of products containing under 0.5 grams of fat per serving (serving size as specified by Health Canada). So a product with 0.2 grams of trans fat and 0.2 grams of saturated fat per serving can still make the claim of being 'fat free'. Interesting, isn't it? See for yourself just how complicated things can get by visiting the Health Canada website.

What about the brands that have the word
‘organic’ in their names? Are they truly organic? Or is it just a devious tactic they are using to make you believe it’s so? There are many different organizations that establish organic standards, and their standards are not all created equal.

It's important to be aware that labels don't tell the whole story. Without lying, companies can intentionally mislead in their quest to get you to choose them over the other guy. My question is whether they are at all worried about backlash, as consumers begin to learn their nutritional ABC's? I wouldn't wait around to find out, if I were them.

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