Incorrect labelling

Other Names:
Inadequate labelling of packages
Inappropriate labelling of goods
Misleading labelling in packages
Mislabelling of products
Inadequate labelling of packages includes labelling which results in difficulty in determining: the weight of the contents (as opposed to that of the packet plus the contents); the unit price of the contents (as opposed to the price of the packaged goods); the date until which the goods may be safely used (if applicable); the exact composition of the packaged substance in chemical terms (if applicable); the conditions under which the package and/or contents should be stored; and the conditions under which it may be safely used, particularly if it is for human consumption. These deficiencies constitute either deliberate or inadvertent misrepresentation of the product. Sometimes, although the labelling of the product is accurate, the message is useless since it has been written in a language unknown to the final consumer or the measures are not those used in the country where the product is sold. All this can lead to a potentially hazardous use of the product or packaging.
1. In USA since 1985 food manufacturers have been allowed to claim just about anything for their products. The result is a confusing cacophony and a possibility to use dubious medical studies in selling the products. Oat bran seemed to lower blood cholesterol and so in labels it was almost declared to prevent heart disease.

2. In the UK in 1992 it was claimed that up to 500 people a week were dying prematurely from heart disease because the public was denied nutrition information on labels that was already required for pet food.

Problem Type:
E: Emanations of other problems
Date of last update
14.06.1999 – 00:00 CEST