Hello! Welcome to Beyond Soy!
Here at Beyond Soy we support identifying allergens on food products. We really appreciate knowing specifically what an item contains and this type of labeling makes it easier for consumers to identify that an item is free of a specific allergen. However, this type of labeling can go too far.
BBC recently reported on an absurd labeling of what's absent when it comes to allergen-friendly products. In the article, they identify items like water that are being labeled as gluten-free (and are also being sold for a higher price). We strongly disagree with this type of labeling. Purposefully identifying a product as gluten-free can be a real benefit to consumers, but only if they expect the base product will contain gluten. No one expects water to contain gluten, so this action can actually harm consumers as they may feel like they must find "gluten-free water" in the future and actually limit their options in the store.
There is a fine line to draw here. Labeling is generally a good thing, but too much labeling can become a burden. Unnecessary labeling dilutes the effectiveness of the allergen-free labels that we strive to find. Imagine if all products were labeled as "-free" of everything they didn't contain. You wouldn't be able to identify what food was okay to eat because the label space would be so noisy!
Have you had an experience like this? We love to see soy-free on labels (and we provide our soy-free certification just for this purpose), but reason must be considered and the allergen-free label must make sense before it is used.