The harmful additive loophole
According to Australian product labeling requirements, if an additive amounts to less than 5% of the product, the manufacturer does not need to list it on the ingredients list.
This, of course, can be very misleading to consumers who understandably assume that because an additive is not listed, a product is free from it.
Many bad food additives sneak into our foods under this loophole which also means that where ingredients contain a compound item (something made of other ingredients but listed as one ingredient), the components of the compound, including any additives, can also legally be left off the packaging.
So, if on occasion a product has given you MSG tummy (also called Chinese Food Syndrome) yet you have been careful in your label reading, this may be why. A call to the product advisory lines (most major manufactures have customer service departments for queries) is the best way to obtain full ingredients listings for specific items. This is a vital call to make when dealing with a life threatening food allergy or when testing for food intolerances.
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Lindy Schneider is a writer and researcher with a keen interest in health, wellbeing and natural childcare. She is an advocator of a chemical-free lifestyle in the best interests of her family, the community and a sustainable world. She lives in the Yarra Valley with her partner and two young children.