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Food watchdog Foodwatch research concludes
American imported food almost never meets European regulations
Research by food watchdog Foodwatch shows that imported American food products that are sold in Dutch stores almost never meet the laws and regulations enforced in the European Union. The organisation bought 86 American import products from various stores, including Albert Heijn, Jumbo and Jamin. None of the products researched completely followed the laws. Foodwatch found a banned ingredient, the obligatory allergy warning was often lacking, as was nutritional information. Foodwatch was amazed and horrified by the results: "This shows that both the government and businesses are seriously failing to watch these products," they said. According to Foodwatch banned ingredients can be a health hazard and the lack of a warning for allergens can even be deadly. The NVWA says they prioritise correct allergen labels. Foodwatch is calling on the parties involved to take action.
Foodwatch decided on further investigation into this product group due to previous incidents with American imported products. The food watchdog previously found a banned emulsion agent in Mountain Dew drinks and a banned chemically bleached flour in American cookies, pasta and baking products. In all these instances it was products made for the American market but then brought to the Netherlands and sold on. The assortment of Albert Heijn, Jumbo, Jamin, Hoogvliet, Spar and Marqt were all investigated. The organisation is surprised with the results of the research: "We suspected that a lot goes wrong when checking these types of American imports, but that not one of over eighty sample products completely met the European laws and regulations, is terrifying."
According to Foodwatch, checks by the NWVA on importers, shops and supermarkets in this product group are failing. The result is that consumers are confronted by confusing or missing information and are therefore blindsided, the organisation announced in a press report.
Publication date: 8/9/2017
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