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View Diary: Horse meat in your burgers? Why assume this is just a UK problem? (133 comments)

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  •  There's lots of false advertising out there (3+ / 0-)
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    a2nite, Flying Goat, kurt

    for example, just yesterday I was bored while drinking my OJ and perused the package carefully - which both said "100% pure orange juice" and (elsewhere) "calcium added"

    Seriously, both statements cannot be true!!

    •  Actually, they can (0+ / 0-)

      As long as the calcium added was less than 0.5 percent (5,000 parts per million [ppm] or about 5,000 milligrams per liter [mg/L]) one would still round the percent orange juice to 100 percent.

      If I recall correctly, calcium-enriched orange juice generally is fortified to have as much calcium as a glass of milk per serving. A one cup serving of milk has ~300 mg of calcium.

      A serving of orange juice is also (I believe) one cup. So -- in order for it to have "as much calcium as a glass of milk" that one-cup serving of orange juice would have to deliver 300 mg of calcium.

      300 mg/8 ounces is equivalent to 4.23 cups/L*300 mg/cup = 1,269 mg/L which is about the same as 1,269 ppm, or 0.1269 percent; well below the 5,000 mg/L level that would round up to one percent.

      Now, if they said it was 100.0% pure orange juice, you'd have a case.

      •  To me, a claim of "100%" should mean exactly (1+ / 0-)
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        according to your logic - since there was only one significant digit used in "100%" - they could have gotten away with the second & third digits being rounded up or down by a 4 and a 9, respectively.  

        Which is kinda stretching things, but once one starts down the slippery slope you suggest, anything can happen

        •  That's how it works in real life (0+ / 0-)

          For example, in the risk assessment field, carcinogenic risks are usually quantified as a number in a million. The gold standard for cleaning up a contaminated piece of land is "one in one million" excess cancer risk, sometimes noted as a 10-6 cancer risk.

          The "one in one million" is rounded to a single significant digit.

          Therefore if site "A" has a calculated risk of 1.49x10-6 it's fine, but if site "B" has 1.50x10-6 then further cleanup may be required.

          99.871% still rounds to 100%. It's legal and mathematically accurate.

          I think your error is misinterpreting "100%" as meaning absolutely nothing but orange juice.  What it really means is "no less than 99.5% orange juice, rounded to an even percentage."

          •  100% = 99.5 can only be true (1+ / 0-)
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            Roadbed Guy

            can only when there is a notation that the 100% is rounded up.

            Otherwise only 100%=100%

            •  Nope (0+ / 0-)

              as long as there are no decimal points, 99.6% is the same as 100%.

              If it was 100.0% then you're good to 99.96%

              If it was 100.00%, then it would be 99.996%

              ...and so on

              •  Or it could be (0+ / 0-)

                as low as 51 or as high as 149 . .. .   based on this example from the definitive internet significant digits page:

                Zeroes at the end of a number are significant only if they are behind a decimal point as in (c). Otherwise, it is impossible to tell if they are significant. For example, in the number 8200, it is not clear if the zeroes are significant or not. The number of significant digits in 8200 is at least two, but could be three or four.
                So, what they'e basically saying is the 8200 could have only 2 significant digits, meaning the real value could range anywheres from 8150.000001 (there should be more zeroes in there, I suppose to 8249.99999...  

                extrapolating the present example, 100% could mean anything from an eyelash over 50% to and smidgeon below 150% - so it could essentially be 50% orange juice and 50% cyanide and still meet the technical labeling requirements.   This type of parsing is what makes people somewhat cynical after long enough (believe me, it took me * decades * to get like this!)

      •  The same applies to "0 g Trans Fat" labels. (0+ / 0-)

        A 1 oz (28 g) serving of chips could contain up to 1.8% trans fat (499 mg) and still be labeled "0 g trans fat."  I think they may even be allowed to round down and label anything less than 1 g as 0 g. Gotta check the ingredients, especially on snack foods labeled with a small serving size.

    •  Depends on definitions. I understand that OJ is (1+ / 0-)
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      squeezed out and vacumn sealed in large vats.... then when needed to produce concentrate the process adds flavorings, color and sweeteners. Now they have to label they are using sneakier ways of hiding the processing. If all the items you add in are from natural sources up to and including snake gonads then they can label it natural. I think that there has been a lot of bought congress critters allowing them to sneak stuff in on people who do read labels.

      Fear is the Mind Killer...

      by boophus on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 02:23:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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