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Food labels: How to tell fact from fiction

Some food labels can be misleading

ORLANDO, Fla. – Some of the food labels you encounter at the supermarket are useful. However, there are many that are misleading, but there are ways you can decode the mysteries behind food labeling.

TheDailyMeal.com says it is important to know what food labels truly mean. Be on the lookout for deceptive and, at times, meaningless labels such as: “free range," “all-natural” or “sustainably raised.” 

“As consumers, we should all be demanding antibiotic-free meat,” said Dr. Amy Collins, the senior clinical advisor at Healthcare Without Harm.

The terms “antibiotic-free” and “no antibiotic residues” are not approved by the United States Department of Agriculture. Some experts are concerned.

"This practice of giving them low-dose antibiotics in their food on a daily basis is the perfect opportunity to breed antibiotic-resistant bacteria," Collins said.

In terms of “free range” the Food and Drug Administration only requires five minutes of open-air access per day, which can mean no more than a hole to stick their head through.

“All-natural” is another misleading and general tag for which the FDA doesn’t have an officially recognized definition. And contrary to what some may believe, “all-natural” does not mean GMO free. 

The FDA does not check for the accuracy of product labeling but will occasionally collect surveillance samples to monitor the accuracy of nutrition information.