Website compares label claims

A new website called allows consumers to compare label information on more than 25,000 brand-name consumer products.

Visitors to the site can research and compare foods on a wide range of criteria, including additives, ingredients, and nutritional facts.

The site was founded by Dianne Manning, who discovered the importance of reading ingredient labels while suffering a particularly unpleasant medical issue.

“For years I suffered with a chronic condition known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS),” Manning said.

“Doctors and medications failed, but eliminating a few foods and additives from my diet completely solved the problem.

“As a result I became an avid reader of packaged food labels. This was time-consuming, confusing and often misleading.

“I looked for an easier solution, but none existed. That’s when the idea for Labelwatch was conceived.”

On the site, ingredients are linked to a proprietary colour-coded ingredient glossary created with information from food labelling authorities such as The National Institutes of Health, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Food & Drug Administration, and Foods Standards Agency UK.

Products that contain no ‘cautionary’ ingredients, as defined by the glossary, are awarded a special seal.

The site is free for everyone. By registering on the site, users can also create customised shopping lists of brand-name products.

The site also contains a Smart Shopping section that offers information about reading labels and food shopping; an in-depth database of Smart Recipe cards and videos; and information about Smart Living as it applies to dieting, beauty, fitness, and natural health.

Beyond consumers, Labelwatch expects to see the site utilised extensively by professionals.

“We’ve had a huge outpouring of support from the health & wellness community,” said Manning.

“Dietitians, physicians, fitness trainers and non-profit health organisations all see Labelwatch as a critical tool they can incorporate into their professional practice.”

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