Poor water labelling practices When “gluten-free” needs to be labelled on water-bottles, you know things are getting out of hand

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With increasing awareness about genetically modified organisms, hormonel injection and the dangers of gluten products for people with celiac disease, food labelling and production has begun producing poor solutions to people’s health fears.

The fears began with bisephenol A; an industrial chemical in certain plastics consciousness.

BPA is a synthetic compound that is found in water bottles, food cans, food containers, and sometimes in baby bottles.

Research reveals that the chemical structure of BPA is similar to that of hormone estrogen, which is harmful because it could affect the function of your body if it combines with estrogen receptors.

The use of BPA has been restricted in certain parts of the world, including European countries, Canada, China and Malaysia, especially for baby and toddler products. Nowadays, finding “BPA-free” products is quite common, especially on products like reusable water bottles.

After BPA-free products became more popular with the public, additional harmful health cautions like gluten-free, kosher, organic, GMO-free and hormone-free products started to become more important to public health. However, product labelling today is taken to a whole new level.

Unfortunately, food labelling industries are manipulating the lack of knowledge that some people have about these products, and taking advantage of consumers’ being health conscious.

For example, now when you go to buy a water bottle from the grocery store, you find that the options are endless.

Aside from being able to choose from over 400 water bottle brands, you can now narrow down your options by choosing “premium water,” which, according to the label, is not only free of GMOs, but it is also certified kosher, organic and gluten free.

Most people probably already know that waterdoesn’t contain any of those properties, but the food labelling industry seems to believe in being thorough anyway.

By labelling water as “premium”, consumers are more likely to pay more for the seemingly “higher end” product.

From an economic perspective, consumers are more likely to find happiness in from a product’s characteristics and descriptions, not necessarily in the product itself.

For example, when making an electronic purchase, most consumers are likely to purchase the most recognizable brand in the market (Apple vs. Microsoft).

In these respects, functionality and the product itself is not the first consideration for most people.

Labelling companies are also being deceitful with their product tracking information. Most water brands that claim to be “mountain glacier” or “natural spring” sourced, most likely come from the same place your tap water at home comes from.

Unfortunately, food labelling industries are manipulating the lack of knowledge that some people have about these products, and taking advantage of consumers’ being health conscious.

Fiji Water, Nestle Pure Life, Happy Water, and my personal favourite, Smart Water have been fooling consumers with their condescending branding and labelling.

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Author: Reem Sheet

Reem Sheet's name alone indicates she is meant for a career in journalism. A second year English and Philosophy student, she is the Opinion Editor for Volume 88. An avid writer and volunteer (to the point of volunteering for an organization that organizes volunteers), Reem is firm in her opinions and takes great pride in having a lot of them.