Reading the fine print, episode 3: What's in the bottle?

Raymond Chen

Caught out by the FDA. I happened to be in the bug spray section of the store when I spotted a bottle of mosquito repellant that proudly proclaimed “100% DEET”. But the FDA-mandated labelling tells a different story:

Active ingredients
N, N diethyl-m-toluamide      
Other isomers  

Similarly, foods labeled “zero fat” are actually allowed to contain up to a half gram of fat. (Well, up to but not including.) This is a definition of “zero” with which I had previously been unfamiliar.

(Episode 1, Episode 2.)


Discussion is closed.

Feedback usabilla icon