Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 1020-4989
CAMARA, Maria Clara Coelho; MARINHO, Carmem Luisa Cabral; GUILAM, Maria Cristina and BRAGA, Ana Maria Cheble Bahia. Academic production on food labeling in Brazil. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2008, vol.23, n.1, pp. 52-58. ISSN 1020-4989. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892008000100007.
OBJECTIVE: To review and discuss academic production (theses and dissertations) on the topic of labeling of prepackaged foods in Brazil. METHOD: A search of the database maintained by the Coordination for the Development of Higher Education Professionals (CAPES), one of the two Brazilian government research funding and support agencies, was conducted on the following keywords: "rotulagem" (labeling), "rotulagem nutricional" (food labeling) and "rótulo de alimentos" (food labels). The search covered the years 1987 (earliest year available) to 2004. RESULTS: We identified 49 studies on this topic. Content analysis identified three major themes: the extent to which food labels meet specific legal requirements (57.2%); the degree to which consumers understand the information on labels (22.4%); and the labeling of transgenic or genetically-modified foods (20.4%). CONCLUSIONS: Food labeling is a frequent topic and is adequately covered by the Brazilian academic production. In most of the studies, ineffective law enforcement appears to be the main factor in the lack of compliance with and disrespect for the food labeling rules and regulations in Brazil.
Keywords : Food labeling; consumer product safety; Brazil.