Dairy Report: Farmers Taking a Stand Against Deceptive Advertising

The Dairy Report 05/22/18
Farmers and ranchers work to remove confusing food labels from store shelves. ( Wyatt Bechtel )

Buzzwords, scare tactics and misguided advertising are just a few techniques food marketers use to get consumers to buy their products. Farmers, however, have had enough and are fighting back to end deceptive food labeling.

Created by dairy farmers and the National Milk Producers Federation, The Peel Back the Label campaign was launched to bring awareness to consumers about misleading advertisements placed on food products, using humor to help spread the message.

In April, Peel Back the Label worked with Emmy-winning comedic production company, Funny Or Die, to release a video portraying how marketers are constantly confusing consumers with misleading food labels on products, creating a perplexing shopping experience for customers. The video shows just how much of a headache shopping can be for today’s consumers as they are bombarded with labels like “non-GMO,” “natural,” and “antibiotic-free.”

It’s not just dairy farmers supporting this cause. In the meat industry, the state of Missouri is jumping on board to help bring an end to this confusion, too.

Missouri could be one of the first states that prohibits marketing misrepresentation under a bill currently under consideration in the state legislature. Taking a stand against labeling plant-based products as ‘meat,’ the Missouri Senate has passed an omnibus bill to help clear up some of the confusion for shoppers.

“This is about protecting the integrity of the products that farm and ranch families throughout the country work hard to raise each and every day,” said MCA Executive Vice President Mike Deering. “I never imagined we would be fighting over what is and isn't meat. It seems silly. However, this is very real, and I cannot stress enough the importance of this issue. We are beyond pleased to see this priority legislation cross the finish-line.”

With campaigns like Peel Back the Label and pending food marketing legislation, more and more farmers are in support of bringing back food labeling to its true, “natural” state.