Labels on foodstuffs purchased by weight in Armenia do not meet all the requirements prescribed by law.
Article 8 of the RA Law on Food Safety includes a list of particulars that must be on all food labels, regardless of whether the item is purchased by weight or not (with the exception of fruits and vegetables). The following are some of the particulars required on all labels:
- The name, net weight or volume
- The list of the main ingredients
- The list of food additives added to foodstuff (if any)
- The day, month and year of production, storage terms, special instructions for storage (if any) and the expiration date
- Information about contraindications of use (if any)
- Particulars of the manufacturer (address and business name)
- Country of origin
- For alcoholic beverages: the percentage of alcoholic content
- Information on genetically modified organisms, if comprise more than 0.9% of the food ingredients
Prepackaged items purchased in Armenia always include the list of ingredients, information about the manufacturer, conditions for storage (if any), the expiration date, and several other particulars. However, labels on foodstuffs purchased by weight (for example, butter, cheese, cold cuts, and candies) include neither the expiration date nor the ingredients, nor the country of origin, nor a number of other particulars. In the best case scenario, foodstuffs purchased by weight include the name of the product, its weight, and the name of the manufacturer.
It’s not difficult for shops to include this information on the printed label. Since the relevant state bodies have not yet taken measures to protect consumer rights and uphold legal requirements, we will continue to purchase foodstuffs lacking expiration dates and other important information, risking our health and sometimes even our lives.