Norwegian authorities, farmers and retailers have busily promoted the quality of Norwegian food in recent years, and encouraged consumers to “buy Norwegian.” Now it appears that many products don’t live up to the contents listed on their packaging.
Whole-grain bread isn’t necessarily whole-grain, fish cakes don’t necessarily contain the fish featured on their labels and many products failed to properly list their ingredients altogether, according to state food safety authority Mattilsynet.
“There is alarmingly poor marking of food,” Atle Wold of Mattilsynet told reporters this week. In a survey of 495 products for sale in Norwegian grocery stores, fully 270 were poorly labelled or featured misleading packaging.
Bakery products were the worst, Wold said, with nearly 80 percent of bread packaging containing errors. Dairy products scored the best.
Some of the misleading packaging “can be characterized as swindle, where the producers seem to intentionally mislead consumers into thinking their product is much better than it actually is,” claimed Gunstein Instefjord of the state consumer council Forbrukerrådet. They’ve received warnings and have promised improvements.