Quiz 14: Regulations and Ethical Concerns

Business

1) The Food and Drug Administration, is responsible for monitoring advertisements on packages of products and how each commodity is labeled. Food quality and safety of drugs come under the purview of this agency. The program Smart Choices - was aimed at having specialized labels for products that were enrolled under this scheme. The products were thought to have nutritional value and were viewed to have a kind of approval from the government agencies. Since packaging is FDA's responsibility they were involved in this matter. If a product has this label, consumers perceive this product as being nutritional and not having any hazardous products. In a way it deceives consumers, as no dept. study was conducted about the ingredients that go into making a product. 2) The program was in circulation for a period of time and this had misled consumers. Many consumers would have already purchased the products. A small amount of fine could have been levied on the companies that had formed a part of this program. The nonprofit American society of Nutrition should have been penalized, for forming an association without proper consent and collecting money from food producers. The FDA should run a newspaper posting informing the companies not to join associations on their own. 3) Yes, the American Society of Nutrition had violated ethical standards. First and foremost aspect is that the society collected money from the food producers. The society is a non-profit organization and it is a form of receiving gifts and bribery. The collection of funds from the various companies is not aligned to the very purpose of which, the organization was established. The other companies that did not form a part of the program, were affected and their rights were violated. Consumers were all moving towards products, which had this particular logo. 4) Yes, the food manufacturers who sold sugary cereals violated ethical standards. The individualism approach was violated; it considered only the company's personal interest and how much profit they could make through this program. The company felt that if they formed a part of the program, their sales would drastically increase. Cereals would be considered as a nutritional product and would be consumed. It deceived the consumers and hid the unhealthy facts of the product, by using the logo. The program proved the power of money and it can deceive innocent consumers and even children. 5) The food manufacturers should not associate any further with the American Society of Nutrition. This program was a gimmick and the nonprofit organization had ended up accepting gifts and bribes from food producers. The companies ended up losing a huge amount of money and the program did not take up in a big way. Though the program looked as if it was government approved, it did not have the needed approval from the agencies and ended up deceiving consumers. 6) No, the dean of the School for Nutrition Science had not violated any ethical standard. He just thought it was a new reform and associated with the program. He should have researched well about this program and then got him selves involved. This program ended up in burning many a hands and making them aware of being careful in future.

Many companies currently adopt the deceptive tactic of labeling a product as "low sodium". In reality, when checked it is realized that they takes an average measurement and frames such tag lines. In comparison to other leading brands, many a times' companies that do not have such tag lines, in fact have much lesser sodium content in their products. With the current fad of people buying "low fat" products, companies are influencing the minds of consumer by adding such statement on the product. Often the fat content in the product might not be as low as it is supposed to be.

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