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Beech-Nut to Disclose Exact Percentages of Key Ingredients

Statement of CSPI Executive Director Michael F. Jacobson

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Many Americans were surprised to learn recently that many baby foods made by Plum Organics had more water or cheap apple purée than any of the kale, spinach, quinoa, blackberries, or other healthful and more expensive ingredients named and pictured on the front of the pouch.

So it’s a terrific development that Beech-Nut Nutrition Company—which already accurately names its baby foods by their primary ingredients—is also going to begin listing the exact percentage of its key ingredients on its website, though not on the labels. It shows that the company has nothing to hide. It makes sense for Beech-Nut to call its organic Banana, Mango, & Sweet Potatoes baby food by that name since it contains 50 percent bananas, 30 percent mangoes, and 20 percent sweet potatoes. Likewise, its Corn, Kale, & Spinach baby food contains just those ingredients in just that order. That’s how products should be labeled.

Plum Organics would look quite bad in comparison if it disclosed how much more apple purée and water it puts into its products than the ingredients named on its front labels. And how many parents would buy Gerber’s Lasagna with Meat Sauce if they realized the high percentage of pear juice that it actually contains?

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Contact Jeff Cronin (jcronin[at]cspinet.org) or Ariana Stone (astone[at]cspinet.org).