Study: Pet food label claims often misleading

When consumers lose faith in a product or industry's labeling claims, new regulation is often around the corner. After all, product ingredient and quality claims on a label are the main source of information that consumers will base their purchasing decision on. Now, as consumers become increasingly health-conscious and discerning, they demand that producers and manufacturers accurately represent their product's quality. 

It seems that pet food products are the latest market that has come under scrutiny. Scientists and researchers in the Chapman University Food Science Program recently looked at 52 dog and cat food products for accuracy in label claims. Specifically, they wanted to find if the meat ingredients listed reflected the products content.

They used DNA identification technology to identify beef, goat, lamb, chicken, goose, turkey, pork, or horse. The results found that over half, 31 products, were mislabeled, with one containing meat from a source that could not be identified. Sixteen of the products also contained meat from sources not listed on the label. 

"It is a form of economic fraud," Rosalee Hellberg, co-author of the study, told Today.com. "Consumers should be able to trust that what is on the label is in the product."

She explained that Americans are expected to spend more than $22 billion on pet food this year, and that mislabeled ingredients could have potentially negative effects on pet health. 

Pet food producers need to be prepared for any changes in labeling regulations. Fortunately, in-house printing solutions from Durafast have never been more convenient or affordable. The Afinia L801 is the latest of the Afinia Color Label Printers to hit the market. Powered by Memjet technology, it can create incredibly sharp labels up to 8.5 inches in width at a resolution of 1600 DPI.

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