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You Need Warning Labels Today More Than Ever

By Ian Renton | Product Labels, Warning Labels | 11 Feb 2019 |

You Need Warning Labels Today More Than Ever

Ian Renton  | 11/02/2019 | Product Labels,Warning Labels

You need warning labels today more than ever because society is different today. If something goes wrong then many are looking for someone to blame. Personal responsibility is practised less often today. I was reminded of this when we did some research about schools for our three-year-old daughter. Now, I have never been a fan of peanut butter sandwiches but one of the many new rules applying to young students is that peanut butter sandwiches are banned. Nuts are also banned in case that child should share these items with another student who has a nut allergy. If I had a child that was allergic to nuts, then I would definitely want these safeguards. If you are launching a new product or just re-branding, then your product labels need to be carefully designed just in case someone could come to harm after using your product no matter how unlikely that harm could be. Warning labels on peanut butter, nuts and other products containing nuts are now mandatory. What is less obvious is that there are many other food products that also require warning labels. This government website below mentions some of these: http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumer/labelling/advisory/Pages/default.aspx If you sell food containing aspartame, then you will need a warning label as this intense sweetener maybe harmful to someone with a rare genetic disorder called phenylketonuria. If your food or beverage contains caffeine or the lesser known guarana, then a warning is required. I guess that is a reasonable request but some of the other demands by the December 2015 advisory statements of the Australian and New Zealand Food Standards Code are unusual to say the least. Your food products also need a warning label if it contains added plant sterols as this may reduce cholesterol consumption. There are also strict laws containing cereals, dried food, bee pollen, quinine and unpasteurised egg or milk products and more.

It Is Not Only Food Products That Need Warning Labels

It is not only food products that need warning labels. Toys, chemicals and a host of other products must contain a warning on your product labels. However, you should also be prepared to emphasise the obvious. The strangest warning labels include:

  • Disposal of disposable nappies after use.
  • Remove your infant before folding and storing your stroller.
  • Sleeping pills may make you drowsy

In all seriousness you really need to take heed of all warnings including the frivolous ones when designing your product labels. Here are a few tips.

  1. Make the warning large, especially the headline.
  2. Make it bold. Use a simple font such as Arial or Times New Roman.
  3. Make it bright. Black text on a red or orange or yellow background are recommended.
  4. Make it bilingual. This is vital if your product is exported.

As a disclaimer I am not an expert on what warnings are required for your products. You will need to conduct your own research. Two suggested starting points are government websites and your lawyer. Once you have done your research, then we can help you with design and the printing of your labels. Call us on 1-800 736 861 or 02 8825 6820 or email your ideas or artwork to info@rentonslabels.com.au.

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