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Dairy farmers fight back against deceptive advertising

American dairy farmers say their product often is misunderstood, in many cases because of what they claim is deceptive advertising. Now they've launched a "tongue-in-cheek" video as the newest installment in their Peel Back the Label campaign.

The video features two make-believe food executives discussing how to separate their product from similar products. Their discussion includes the use of terms like "non-GMO" and "natural." Go to www.funnyordie.com/videos/6d1648b1ce/peel-back-the-label-all-natural-non-gmo-100-percent-gluten-free-internet-video to view the video.

The video, although featuring fictitious characters, reflects real life, Jim Mulhern, president of the National Milk Producers Federation, said in a written statement.

"Anyone who has ever been to the grocery store knows the feeling of being manipulated when faced with dozens of labels all saying different things about the same types of products. With this video, we shine a spotlight — in a decidedly tongue-in-cheek way — on just how difficult some food companies are making grocery shopping, something which should be a simple and straightforward endeavor for consumers," he said.

"The scenes portrayed in this video will hit close to home for consumers because it's what we all experience every day at the grocery store. It's gotten ridiculous out there, and it's time for food companies to stop trying to hype their products with meaningless distinctions," Mulhern said.

The campaign, which began in August 2017, seeks to promote "truth and transparency in food marketing," according to organizers.

Peel Back the Label is generating considerable consumer engagement, particularly on social media, Irma Palmer, a campaign spokeswoman, told Forum News Service.

"In the last month alone, we've seen a 68 percent increase in the rate of new followers," she said.

"Consumers have sent in numerous examples of misleading food labeling that they catch in the grocery store, called out food companies directly on social media, and have committed to no longer buying products from certain food companies if they continue to use deceptive marketing," she said.

The campaign will continue as long as food manufacturers "deceive consumers with misleading food labels," Palmer said.

Learn more about the campaign at www.peelbackthelabel.org.

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