Food Labeling – Who Decides

A New York Times article (January 25,2011, B1) describes competing proposals to label food. The Grocery Manufacturers Association announced a labeling scheme that highlights calories, fats etc but also beneficial nutrients like vitamins, protein etc.  But the Federal government claims that the labels would be confusing and wants to emphasize things consumers should avoid.  The federal Institute of Medicine, focused on decreasing obesity and heart disease, also wants to focus attention on things consumers should avoid. A retailer led initiative, led by WalMart initiative, was announced jointly with the first lady Michelle Obama and claimed that it would focus on labeling that emphasizes healthy foods.  Who should control food labels – the manufacturer, retailer or the federal government ? Should there be a single labeling system or should we let the consumer decide which one they prefer ? How does the demand stimulation impact of labels align with the  consumer protection goal of the government ?

About aviyer2010

Professor
This entry was posted in Operations Management, Supply Chain Issues and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Food Labeling – Who Decides

  1. Food labeling has another even more important function to emphasize healthy foods, for allergic people lebeling can save life. Considering the importance of labeling there should be developped standards and the control function should be done by the federal government. Furtheremore, appealing packages and labels can be designed so that the consumer is protected and the product is still appeling.

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