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Warning: Nuts repeat on you

An action team set up by Plain English Campaign is keeping watch over the poor communications in food labelling this year. The nuttiest find so far is on a chocolate selection card.

Chocolate-lovers can read no fewer than eight mentions about the nut content in the chocolate menu selection alone. Further details on the back of the Cadbury Milk Tray box go on to give the full ingredients and nutritional values, once more including the nuts.

Warnings are essential for allergy sufferers. But with three of the ten chocolates listed already containing the word ‘nut’ in their menu names, Plain English Campaign is puzzled by this need for such frequent repetition.

Chrissie Maher, founder of Plain English Campaign says, “This needless repetition from manufacturers in warnings smacks of paranoia and fear of regulatory bodies, rather than helping the customer to enjoy a treat. The ingredients of common sense, plain English and one clear statement should satisfy the regulators, save the manufacturers time and money, and still give the shopper the information they need.”

Recent media coverage highlights discussions about whether we should classify sugar should as a toxic substance. Logically, any official acceptance of this claim would result in those milk chocolates having to carry the poison warning symbol, alongside the existing warnings about soya, milk and nuts.

Plain English Campaign are making this year a ‘Healthy, happy 2012”. We are focusing on health care information, where the use of plain English can make it easier and safer for people take responsibility for their well-being.

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