· 4 min read
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – NSF, an independent public health and safety organization, released a new study showing 61% of Americans are concerned about the products they put in, on and around their bodies. However, 34% say they rarely or never research product claims. Almost half (46%) of Americans say they have purchased a product despite being unsure of the validity of product claims.
The online survey conducted in February 2019 on behalf of NSF polled a representative sample of 1,000 Americans about their concerns related to food, dietary supplements, personal care products and home cleaning products. The survey reveals a nearly a 50/50 split between people who say product claims are helpful and those who say they are confusing, overwhelming or meaningless.
According to the survey, Americans trust claims tested and certified by independent organizations more than claims made by product manufacturers and brands. These findings suggest self-declared claims made by brands and manufacturers without any independent verification may contribute to consumer confusion and mistrust.
“It’s clear that many consumers have questions and concerns about the safety and authenticity of the products they buy, but they don’t always know whom to trust or where to turn for an honest answer,” said Lisa Yakas, Senior Product Certification Manager at NSF. “As consumers, we increasingly want brands and marketers to back up their claims with data and to prove products contain only the ingredients that are listed on the label.”
Highlights from the 2019 survey include:
The findings suggest many consumers are unsure how to research and verify claims for themselves, and may be unaware of third-party certification programs operated by independent organizations and governmental agencies.
The study also drilled down into consumer views of specific product categories and found:
“Given the complexity of global supply chains and the fact that health and safety standards vary by country, it’s challenging for consumers to conduct their own research into everything they buy,” said NSF’s Lisa Yakas. “Independent third-party certification is the easiest way for consumers to check the safety and authenticity of products and the validity of product label claims.”
From verification of claims like gluten-free, non-GMO and raised without antibiotics to certification of products like dietary supplements, bottled water, drinking water filters and home cleaning products, NSF tests and certifies more than 30,000 products a year. NSF experts also conduct more than 220,000 audits and inspections of manufacturing facilities worldwide each year.
“When consumers see the NSF mark on a package, they can be sure the product has gone through extensive testing and review for potential health and safety risks as well as testing for the accuracy of label claims,” Yakas said.
As a global public health organization, NSF’s mission is to protect and improve human health – protecting the food you eat, the water you drink, the health care products you use and the environment we all share.
For more information or media inquiries, please contact Thomas Frey, APR at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1 (734) 214.6242.
In 2019, NSF is celebrating 75 years of protecting and improving human health. The independent, global organization facilitates standards development, and tests, audits and certifies products for the food, water, health sciences, sustainability and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment. With operations in more than 175 countries, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide. NSF is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center on Food Safety, Water Quality and Indoor Environment.
An independent research firm conducted the survey on behalf of NSF among a nationally representative sample of 1,000 Americans living in the continental United States. The survey was fielded between February 20 – March 1, 2019 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.0 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.