Whole Foods' Labels Tell Half the Story

Food chain's labels don't provide enough information about allergens
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 23, 2008 10:45 AM CST
The story of the Whole Foods chocolate bars is just one example of how consumers are at the mercy of a food chain with little accountability and labels that are not policed for accuracy.   (AP Photo/Mike Derer, File)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – Eat, drink, and be wary, chocolate lovers: Whole Foods may not be telling you the whole story about its premium chocolate bars, reports the Chicago Tribune. In an investigation into product labels that promised “good manufacturing practices.” the Trib found that the supermarket chain’s chocolate bars contained traces of allergens—the latest example of how food chains, with little accountability and unchecked food labels, are misleading consumers.

One issue is cross-contamination, in which product ingredients unintentionally mix. Many companies voluntarily disclose the potential threat, but some simply are protecting themselves from lawsuits, the FDA found. At Whole Foods, more than 300 products bear the “good manufacturing” label. “If you’re going to do that,” said an allergy expert, “you had better have your act together 110% of the time.”