With few federal rules in place, many eco-labels and related markers placed on food in the U.S. are meaningless or confusing, says Consumers Union. For example, because the U.S. Agriculture Department doesn’t have standards for free-range eggs, no one checks up on whether the chickens producing such eggs really have the run of the farm. Another example: Consumers encountering the Nature Conservancy logo on a box of granola bars might understandably think the bars were produced in an environmentally friendly way. Turns out that the logo signifies nothing more than that the conservancy has made a pretty penny ($115,000) from General Mills.
Get Grist in your inbox