A year from the launch of ‘Amazon Pantry’ – sale and shipment service for food and beverages – the e-commerce giant is continuing to infringe the basic rules on food information to consumers. This has been condemned by GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade), an independent information portal on food and nutrition that reported it to the Italian Antitrust authority.
Our investigation shows a superficial approach by Amazon as regards the obligation to providing consumers with proper information regarding foodstuffs. Such information – required by Regulation (EU) No.1169/11 – is crucial, especially to the consumers with food allergies and intolerances, like celiac disease. We hope for an immediate intervention by the Italian Antitrust authority, as we wait for an official inquiry by the food control authorities.
(Dario Dongo, lawyer and founder of GIFT)
Survey of 250 products
GIFT examined the sales conditions of 250 products, accounting for 20% of the products on Amazon Pantry. The result reveals more often than not the lack of one or more mandatory information. (1)
Sometimes the name of the product is missing, or in some cases it’s the nutrition table, in others the net weight is missing or described in a mixed manner (indicating 4 different ones).
The mandatory information is often incomplete or incomprehensible, because only in foreign language.
In the most blatant cases, Amazon Pantry fails to give vital information regarding food safety, such as the list of ingredients and identification of allergens.
Food sold as rummage
Despite European and Italian regulations – even more strict when it comes to food safety and the labeling of food- the Amazon Pantry portal seems to deal with food products like any other low cost object offered in the “non food” section.
This slovenliness leads to a grotesque research of basic information, as verified by reading through the Q&A between users.
There are questions asking what ingredients are in the product. Some ask to read the nutrition table with the nutritional value. Also who mistrusts the famous “Made in Italy”, because presented only with a Chinese label, questioning whether this product may be a counterfeit.
An outrage that must be stopped: resorting to the Antitrust
After the investigation, GIFT reported the Amazon Pantry service to the Italian Antitrust authority, in the hopes of a prompt action that restores the safety of purchasing food and beverages, even through distance selling. May this warn other e-commerce food sites, that tend to be greedy when it comes to information and guarantees.
(1) See Reg. EU 1169/11, Article 14