Butter, Margarine Brands Pinned To False Labelling

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2018-04-16 HKT 16:30

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  • Butter, margarine brands pinned to false labelling

The Consumer Council said on Monday that half of 30 popular butter and margarine brands sold in Hong Kong have inaccurate nutrition labelling – with one having a sodium content 10 times higher than it claims.

Lurpak's "slightly salted organic spreadable butter" had sodium ten fold more than what it suggested.

Four other brands which claimed to have no trans fatty acid actually had them to a level that exceeded the accepted tolerance limit of 0.3mg/100g.

These were "Olive Spread" from Essential Waitrose; "Organic Whipped Buttery Spread" from Earth Balance; "Spread with Canola Oil" from Sunny Meadow and" Australian Spreadable Salted Butter" from the manufacturer Daisy.

A member of the council, Wong Kam-fai, said the flawed information is an infringement of consumer rights and urged the authorities to devise legislation that will require food labels to disclose the contents of products in detail.

The watchdog said the inaccurate labelling cases have been passed to the Centre for Food Safety for further action.

It also warned producers that it is a criminal offence to put false or misleading labels on food products.

Eighteen of the margarine brands contained a chemical called genotoxic carcinogen glycidol, which the European authorities have put on a watch list, saying it may be carcinogenic.

The Consumer Council's chief executive Gilly Wong said although there are no international standards set for intake of the chemical, but European authorities had advised people to keep it “as low as reasonably practicable or achievable”.

She said the SAR government should also look into regulations over the chemical.

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Last updated: 2018-04-16 HKT 18:55