I believe that the word "lie" is not proper unless one can establish that the companies that were investigated in the article had a specific intent to deceive or mislead. I highly doubt that that is the case, and certainly not for all of the companies whose nutrition data was studied. To use the word "lie" in the heading of an article may make for good reading and catch readers' attention, but it wouldn't hold up in a court of law.
A good part of the problem with nutrition data is that most people do not understand how companies create their nutrition data. There may have been a time in the past where companies subjected their products to destructive testing or other types of analysis by test labs that specialize in that type of work, and no doubt there are times even today where some companies may submit products for testing by outside labs to come up with nutrition information for those products, but today the more common method as best I can tell is to use software. Sometimes companies commission third parties to come up with the nutritional information using their proprietary software and databases but other companies do the analysis themselves in-house using software licensed for that purpose (see, for example, http://www.xenia.com/en/product/genesis-randd-food-analysis-and-labeling-software/2132312?type=product
). But, either way, the information that is used to create the nutritional information is usually based on the ingredients that suppliers provide, like flour, cheeses, tomatoes, sauces, etc., for a pizza. Also, there can be variations in the products because of variations in the way they are made, as when using different workers with different skills and experience and training, which is very common for the types of pizza establishments that were mentioned in the article. The FDA understands these types of variations full well, and, for that reason, it allows companies to be off by +/- 20% in their nutrition information. Even when they are outside of that range, the FDA is highly unlikely to take action. They don't have the resources to monitor and chase after everyone whose nutrition information is outside of the above range, and for the FDA to intervene, people would have to be keeling over or the product would have to be deemed so harmful that it must be recalled.
Some time ago, I discussed some of the above matters in the context of Papa John's nutrition information, and reported on what I learned about PJ's practice in this area at Reply 212 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6758.msg107166.html#msg107166
. That post mentions using information provided by PJ's suppliers. If you look at the Domino's website toward the end of the page at https://order.dominos.com/en/pages/content/nutritional/ingredients.jsp
, you will also see that Domino's also relies on suppliers when it says The ingredient listings are provided by ingredient manufacturers
and The products listed on this website, when made with approved Domino’s Pizza ingredients, provide the nutritional composition as indicated. Depending on supplier and location there may be some variance in the information...
. As for Pizza Hut, note the weasel wording about nutrition information for their products at the bottom of the page at http://www.pizzahut.com/assets/w/nutrition/BrandStandardNutritionalInformationFINAL111314.pdf
. In Little Caesars' case, see http://www.littlecaesars.com/OurMenu/Info/Nutrition.aspx
(including reference to the Genesis software).
Finally, it is important to know that not all software that creates nutrition information is perfect. I saw this recently in connection with Tony Gemignani's artisan flour that he is now selling. See, for example, the questions you and another poster raised and the answers that followed at http://www.thepizzabible.com/posts/a-few-questions-about-your-new-oo-flour
. In that case, the nutrition information suggested a protein range for the flour of about 15.26-16.32%, whereas the actual protein content was 14.2-14.5%. If a test lab showed that that the 15.26-16.32% range was wrong, then, would that make Tony and/or Central Milling liars? More recently, but still in the context of the Tony G situation, I found myself unable to come up with some of the nutritional information that AB Mauri set forth for its low diastatic malt. I tested many possible combinations of the three ingredients involved, in a 100-grams sample size, and including extreme outliers to better frame the issue, and I could not come up with some of the nutrient values that AB Mauri has published for the low diastatic malt no matter what flour I looked at, and there were many, and no matter which malted barley flours I looked at, and I looked at all I could find with nutrition information. I think the AB Mauri nutrition information may be wrong, but I can't prove it.
As you know, in the past I have found other instances where I strongly believe that nutrition information provided by a few pizza operators was incorrect or outside of the +/- 20% range. I don't think they were lying. They were perhaps subject to the many variations mentioned above or maybe their software was not the best or faulty. And there is no incentive to do anything about it since the FDA will not do anything about it.