Milk slices, false advertising

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Great Italian Food Trade continues the battle against milk-sounding by reporting to the IAP (Institute for Advertising Self-Discipline) INALPI’s misleading advertisement on ‘Milk Slices’.

Once again-as in the Galatine candy affair-the misleading reference to ‘fresh pasteurized milk’ on the label of a food whose nature and nutritional properties are quite different.

The case of ‘Milk Slices’ is equally emblematic. Because the consumer is led to confuse the essential role of milk in human nutrition (1) with a product where it is present, moreover together with other ingredients, (2) in a form not comparable to that of the original raw material. It is indeed a ‘processed cheese,’ (3) whose placement in the food pyramid is far removed from fresh milk.

Nutritionally, ‘Milk Slices’ deserve special attention because of their high salt content, the amount of which in 100 grams of product is 3 grams. That is, more than 50 percent of the daily threshold of 5 grams that WHO recommends adults should not exceed. (4)

Slices of processed cheese-like candy-cannot and should not be presented as milk substitutes. As it is being done, in both cases, with mindless, deceptive, and misleading marketing policies:

– Galatines, as has already been reported, boast the 80% fresh pasteurized milk equivalency of candies that contain between 33 and 40% milk powder, depending on the case,

– Inalpi’s ‘processed cheese’ is even presented with the name of the raw material, the presence of which is claimed in the terms of‘140g per 100g of finished product‘. (5) To the point of leading a parent to believe that four slices of melted cheese is equivalent to a glass of fresh milk (!).

There is no question, let me be clear, of the goodness and genuineness of the products under consideration. Food produced in Italy is safe by definition, as it is subject to an effective system of official public controls in addition to operators’ self-control, which in turn is scrupulously supervised. But ‘business communication must be clear, honest and fair.’ (6)

Therefore, we confidently await the response of the IAP, which, as has been pointed out, (7) stands out at the European level for its authority and operational efficiency. So as to allow for the rapid correction of messages that in themselves may integrate several liability profiles.

Dario Dongo

Notes

(1) SEE http://www.repubblica.it/salute/alimentazione/2013/12/06/news/latte_allarme_disinformazione_la_ricerca_fa_bene_alla_salute-72860842/. Cited in this regard is the scientific consensus paper ‘Cow’s milk, role in human nutrition and health effects, published by Cra-Nut in June 2017, at http://nut.entecra.it/files/download/NEWS/il_latte_vaccino_10072017.pdf

(2) Such as ‘cheese, butter, melting salts (sodium citrate), salt, acidity corrector (citric acid)’

(3) ‘Processed cheese’, at the very least, is the name of the food offered by the manufacturer. About whose legitimacy and correctness, moreover, doubts have been expressed. See http://www.foodagriculturerequirements.com/category/notizie /domande-e-risposte/fettine-di-latte-risponde-l-avvocato-dario-dongo

(4) Galatins in turn rank at the top of the food pyramid because of their high carbohydrate and sugar content

(5) And how will it ever be possible to fit 140 grams of liquid into 100 grams of a solid food that contains various other ingredients? Inevitably, with heat treatment that alters its physical state by evaporation

(6) So says the Code of Advertising Self-Regulation, Article 1. In line with reg. EU 1169/11 (Articles 7, 36) and the Consumer Code (Legislative Decree 206/05, Articles 20-21)

(7) See eBook ‘The Label,’ by the writer, available free of charge at http://www.ilfattoalimentare.it/ebook-letichetta-di-dario-dongo

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Dario Dongo, lawyer and journalist, PhD in international food law, founder of WIISE (FARE - GIFT - Food Times) and Égalité.