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Jun 6, 2023

cutting expenses to cut prices

Yesterday PM Benjamin Netanyahu convened, for the first time, the new committee under his leadership that was created for the specific purpose of fighting the increasing cost of living and regularly rising prices.

During the session, Netanyahu reportedly suggested revoking the laws that require companies to put a lot of information on the labels of food products. According to Netanyahu, except for the kashrut symbols what is good for Europe is good enough for us. No need for all the details ingredients and nutritional lists and approvals from various institutes..

I am not sure what exactly would be cut and what would remain. I am also not sure how much money that would actually save the companies that would then be passed on to the consumer -is it a significant amount, I dont know. I also remember from trips in the not too distant past to European countries that the labels on food products (which I had to look at in depth to try to figure out what was kosher) that the food packaging was not bare of words - just the opposite, the packaging in Europe had much more information than what I am used to here in Israel, as many items (I am hesitant to say "all") had all the info printed in multiple languages. Anyway, I am curious how much less printing would save the companies that would then by extension save Israelis when we go to the supermarket. 

Additionally, remember the reforms instituted by Yaakov Litzman when he was Minister of Health, making companies tag products with little circles saying high sugar content, high salt content and others? That was greatly praised and seemed to be a good idea to inform people and help them eat more healthy foods. It seems that would be revoked by this change, which would be somewhat of a shame. I do wonder if any research was done to study how much of an effect those circles of health information had and if sales of less healthy products went down by a nice percentage because of that information being easily available..

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  1. There are lots of good ideas out there. The government should be involved in few if any of them.

  2. On one of my visits, when I saw the stick saying 'Large amounts of sugar' I first though it was actually an advertisement, not a deterrent.

    1. People posted pictures of foods with all three- sugar, salt, and fat- declaring them the best foods ever.

  3. Not requiring special labelling may help encourage competition by making it easier for new entrants to import from Europe. That may be more important than the actual cost of labelling.


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