Success for consumer portal food clarity



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After only 100 days, 3,800 products reported on Lebensmittelklarheit.de

The start-up difficulties immediately after the start of the online consumer portal “Lebensmittelklarheit.de” seem to have been overcome. The balance of the first 100 days is quite positive.

The project, which is sponsored by the Federal Association of Consumer Centers and the Consumer Center Hesse, will start on July 20, where consumers can report food that they feel deceived or mislead by their presentation or labeling. After the first 100 days of the portal, over 3,800 products have already been registered on Lebensmittelklarheit.de. The Federal Minister of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection, Ilse Aigner (CSU), underlined in a recent press release the overwhelming response that the portal has met with among consumers.

Report misleading labeling of foodstuffs On Thursday the portal Lebensmittelklarheit.de was online exactly 100 days ago and as with every newly elected federal government, this is also the time for an initial assessment. In the beginning, the critics still seemed to be clearly in the majority given the massive server problems that arose after the launch of the consumer portal. Now the tide has apparently turned. More and more consumers are actively using “Lebensmittelklarheit.de” to report food products that have misleading labeling or packaging. The cases are then examined by the consumer advocates and a statement from the manufacturer is requested, for which the manufacturer has seven days. The results are available for all consumers to read on the online portal. More than 38 reports a day have been recorded since the start of Lebensmittelklarheit.de, which, according to Federal Minister for Consumer Protection Ilse Aigner, shows the success of the project. The complaints by consumers are also heard by most manufacturers, the Minister emphasized. In part, the companies had already changed their product presentation and labeling as a direct reaction to the report.

Lebensmittelklarheit.de: false start or success? In the federal government, however, the judgment about the success of the new online consumer portal is quite different. Contrary to the Federal Minister of Consumer Protection's assessment, some FDP politicians classify the previous development as a clear false start. "We were skeptical right from the start whether it was right to name products," FDP expert Christel Happach-Kasan told the news agency "dapd". In the opinion of the FDP politician, the balance sheet of the first 100 days and the "practice of the portal confirms that product naming is not a happy solution." Here companies would be publicly pilloried. The operator of the portal must therefore check more thoroughly whether there is actually misleading labeling before the food information is published, Happach-Kazan demanded. While the demand for a thorough examination appears to be completely justified, the question arises as to why companies that have been shown to mislead consumers with their product packaging should not be publicly mentioned. The product name seems to be in the interests of consumers. However, in order to protect companies from possible damage from unjustified criticism, consumer protection organizations must handle the reports with particular care. (fp)

Image: Gabi Schoenemann / pixelio.de

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