National Consumers League

Food

Hot Topics in Food

Understanding 'sell by' dates

Use by date on a plastic tub of sour creamThe amount of food wasted in America is disturbingly high. Around 40 percent of the U.S. food supply is thrown away unused every year due, in part, to confusing food date labeling. More than 90 percent of Americans have thrown out food prior to its actual expiration date. Recently, a push has been made to reduce the amount of food that grocery stores are disposing of by repurposing it in cheap prepared meals or donating it to food banks. At home, consumers can reduce food waste by learning the truth about “use by” date labeling.

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Consumer, worker regulations being held up in broken process

US Capitol building under grey skiesFrom the safety of the food we eat to the air we breathe and the cars we drive—Congress has enacted landmark laws to ensure our air, food, and autos meet minimum safety standards. Yet today, many of the rules required to execute these laws have been delayed and/or weakened as a result of a sluggish, and often hostile, regulatory agency. Due to unjustified delays, Congressional mandates and sensible safeguards are being held up, and consumers pay the price.

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Safety of food imports getting a boost

Tomatoes, bananas, and other produce pictured on a shelfDid you know that 20 percent of America's food supply is imported from other countries, including half of our fresh fruit and 20 percent of the fresh vegetables we eat? Despite these significant numbers, the federal government has been, up until now, only inspecting 2 percent of these imports. According to new rules from the Food and Drug Administration, however, that is about to change.

Read more: Safety of food imports getting a boost