The degree of consumer understanding, or lack of understanding, may be divided into three groups. The first is the area in which there is a good deal of misinformation being disseminated by groups for economic gain. Examples of this are the diet fads, such as the low carbohydrate diet which has already been resurrected six times under different names. The second area involves knowledge that the public doesn't really want to hear. The best example of this is the guidelines for filth in food published by the FDA. Another related example is the proposed regulations for Fish Protein Concentrate regarding intestinal contents. A third example may be the full ingredient labelling being requested by some groups. A long list of chemical names intimidates some consumers and may actually reduce food credibility. The third area involves technical issues that are so complex that educational efforts have lagged behind the progress of analytical and toxicological advances. The concept of risk/benefit in food components with its attendant difficulties in extrapolating high dosage animal data to low dose data appropriate for humans is the most obvious example.

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