WASHINGTON (PRN)--The Center for Global Food Issues (CGFI) recently launched advertisements aimed at informing consumers about misleading labels.
First piloted in dairy country in Wisconsin, CGFI is now running the ads over the Fourth of July Holiday in newspapers throughout New England, including southern New Hampshire, Maine and Boston and its suburbs.
The ads are specific to the labeling and marketing of dairy products like milk, yogurt and cheese.
"Consumers need to know what they are paying for, particularly when they buy from the dairy case," said Alex Avery, director of research for the CGFI.
"Many product claims convey health, environmental or nutritional benefits--where in fact none exist--by pointing out what the product does not include. Such absence-of-presence marketing is, in many cases, misleading if not blatantly false."
CGFI, concerned consumers and family dairy farmers supporting their efforts are using the opportunity of the Fourth of July holiday to support dairy farmers and consumers by exposing misleading and false marketing practices by certain dairy packagers and retailers.
Research reveals that dairy labels, advertisements and marketing claims being made by certain New England and nationally-known dairy brands mislead consumers about the safety, nutrition and quality of milk.
Massachusetts Food and Agriculture Commissioner Douglas Gillespie agreed. In a letter last November to the Department of Public Health Gillespie stated, "This department believes that such labeling is creating confusion amongst consumers and is further diminishing an already volatile milk market for Massachusetts farmers."
"Milk is milk. The misleading marketing of certain dairy products as superior in health, nutrition or quality creates undue concerns for consumers and hurts farmers," noted Avery. "These practices are contributing to reduced consumer demand for affordable, wholesome and nutritionally important dairy products; they are unethical and in many cases violate state and federal truthful and non-misleading advertising regulations. The unscrupulous practices of a few are harming family dairy farms and the important American farming community of which they are a part."
The "Milk is Milk" ad was derived from a mock up of a milk carton containing facts about the production of milk, reviewed and approved by the American Council on Science and Health's Director of Nutrition, Dr. Ruth Kava, and produced by CGFI.
The carton is part of CGFI's "concerned consumer" campaign tool kit, available at www.MilkIsMilk.com , which enables consumers to identify and report false and misleading dairy marketing in their local supermarkets.
Key points of the advertisement include:
--All milk is produced the same way--by cows. Abundant and high quality milk production results from the daily management of well-fed healthy dairy cows. Some dairy producers may use a variety of technologies, but the milk remains the same nutritious product providing vitamins, minerals, protein and calcium.
--All milk is continuously tested for purity, safety and quality. Milk is tested numerous times before it reaches the dairy case to ensure that it meets or exceeds government standards and requirements for safety, purity and quality. These tests begin at the farm and continue throughout the processing of milk.
--Milk labels can be misleading. The center's research has found false or misleading labels that try to confuse and scare people about the safety or quality of dairy products. These labels and advertisements are unfair to consumers and harm dairy farmers. Be an informed shopper and join our concerned consumer campaign today by visiting www.MilkisMilk.com.
In addition to this concerned consumer coalition, CGFI has joined several other non-profit consumer, public policy, agriculture and animal health groups seeking appropriate regulatory enforcement against misleading labels and advertisements with federal, state and local agencies. Links to related research, complaints and other materials are available on the CGFI campaign website.