What Is Ingredient Transparency?

An increasing number of consumers are calling on large companies for more ingredient transparency, and it doesn't mean adding more water. Ingredient transparency is the idea that the makers of a product must disclose every single ingredient that goes into creating it. We just finished reading this article over at Mother Nature Network, and, since we sell both food and janitorial supply products here at UNEEDIT, thought it was worth sharing.

Currently, FDA regulations allow companies to keep individual flavors, spices, and chemicals a secret if they don't have a direct effect on the end product. While this goes a long way to protect the trade secrets of those who create the products, it can be harmful to consumers with allergies or aversions to certain foods and chemicals.

Consumer advocacy groups and some forward-thinking large companies have begun to release detailed product data and ingredient lists on their own accord, without government intervention. Coca Cola, SC Johnson, and Wal-Mart each have their own initiatives to either disclose all ingredients in all their products or develop a standardized eco-label that gives consumers a truly clear picture of what they're buying and its true environmental impact.

Government regulations regarding ingredient transparency are on the way, but we like to see companies leading the charge. What do you think? Should we force trade secrets out into the open in the interest of consumer safety? Is it worth the effort to create a universal eco-label regarding product and container ingredients? To find out more about the debate on ingredient transparency, check the whole article here.