Facebook PixelFood manufacturers to add science-based explanations on why they chose certain additives and how they're not harmful to human health
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Food manufacturers to add science-based explanations on why they chose certain additives and how they're not harmful to human health

Image credit: Healthline

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Jan 31, 2022
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Prepackaged food manufacturers should add science-based explanations on why certain additives are in their products and how they're not harmful to human health.
Why?
Health-conscious people routinely check the ingredients on the packaging of food items they wish to buy. Seeing the E-coded additives or chemical names they refrain from buying just in case the additives are harmful.
How it works
If the manufacturer cares about the health of their buyers and the sales of their products they could:
  1. Invest in research to find non-harmful substitutes for any additive that is potentially harmful
  2. Explain the additives on the packaging and refer to science-based literature where people can verify the information
  3. Market themselves as a health-conscious company that is known for the above 2 points
Reduce the additives to a bare minimum. Replace any questionable additive with a substitute that is non-harmful.
Attach a leaflet to each product. The text would be boiled down to 1-3 sentences and begins along these lines:
"You consume more of X in one <apple, chestnut, whatever-well-known-plant> than you do in this product."
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Spook Louw
Spook Louw Jan 31, 2022
I suspect that one of the problems this idea might face would be that there won't be enough space to add all the relevant information on the packaging of the product.
This can be solved by simply introducing a QR code on products that directs users to a website with all the relevant information.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic4 months ago
I used to buy multivitamins that had the list of ingredients under the product graphics. You peeled off the sticker only to find another containing the full list of ingredients.
A glue-on leaflet with an explanation on non-harmful additives could work as well
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General comments

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Goran Radanovic
Goran Radanovic4 months ago
Food additives should be completely transparent. Consumers shouldn't need to do any guesswork, since it has such a significant impact on our health.
I'd like the explanations to be simple, free from science jargon that you have to look up to understand. Maybe they could mention the positives and negatives of each additive, thereby letting the consumer decide if it's best for them.
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J. Nikola
J. Nikola4 months ago
So, basically what you need is a list of E-coded additives with links (like in your link). The amount of these can vary from none to 20+ additives, depending on the product. How would you make sure the information is delivered in a high signal low noise format? If you have a giant label with tiny font, it often rejects the customer from digging for information. Scanning a QR to get linked to the site (from your link) is a cool way of doing nothing more than to write it all on the label. What we need is an efficient way to deliver specific information. Maybe a site that will scan and summarize papers that support or define the use of additives in the industry. Then this site can write short but informative time-stamped sentences explaining the use of these additives.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic4 months ago
J. Nikola that's a problem for the manufacturer to figure out. If it was my product I would cut down the additives to a bare minimum. Then I would find non-harmful alternatives for any additive that is even a little questionable. I would then be left with very few. I would boil the information down to 1-3 sentences. The first sentence would begin with:
"You consume more of X in one <apple, chestnut, whatever-well-known-plant> than you do in this product."
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J. Nikola
J. Nikola4 months ago
The problem is that people trust experts. The same as you raised an issue on adjuvants in vaccines, but only a small percent of people are actually thinking about it, the same is with food additives. There are agencies that regulate this and if you buy in known supermarkets, all food should have a safety label on it that says it's approved for sale. That means that the idea you proposed is already done by the regulators, such as FDA so that the people can eat and drink "safely" and without worries. Maybe all we need is a QR link to the FDA site where this product was checked and approved. The rest, what you propose, is just a great marketing scheme.
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