In terms of providing services and advertising various products, companies should be held entirely liable for the things that they propagate and the effects that the products have on the public in general. Given the nature of many products that customers are exposed to, there are many situations in which these products themselves can be harmful in ways that the public may not be entirely aware of upon consumption. Because of this, health issues and concerns are major problems for citizens in the United States, such as obesity, cancers of various kinds and heart and lung diseases. Consumers still have the right to actively consume these products, but the company that sells and advertises these products should also be held liable for ensuring that the public is aware of what they’re ingesting or consuming when each product is purchased.
If there is any possibility that a product or service can be potentially harmful to the consumer, then it is the moral and ethical responsibility of the company that is selling or advertising the product to adequately inform the public of exactly what the product is capable of doing. This in itself represents a sense of utter transparency that companies should be required to maintain. If there are any additives or chemicals included in foods, this should be the primary focus of companies to detail and clearly label so that consumers are informed of what they are taking. This is largely due to the power that these companies possess. Given the fact that they have the ability to research and prove that these products can be harmful, it is their moral responsibility to ensure that the customer is kept informed about these potentially detrimental attributes of their products as well.
Chemicals such as the artificial sweetener aspartame and the dye Yellow 5 both present precarious scenarios for companies as these chemicals themselves can be deadly if ingested, for some consumers. As a result, these particular chemicals and those like them should be labeled and advertised as such, and products should be differentiated in the event that they contain these types of chemicals. Furthermore, if companies utilize GMOs or potentially harmful pesticides, it is important that they are held liable and are forced to maintain transparency about the customers with these products and what went into producing them. It’s the responsibility of the restaurants and commercial enterprises that offer any thing that can be potentially detrimental to the public to advertise adequately what the effects of consuming their product is.
In many ways, educational messaging can be useful to help showcase these types of issues and the way in which certain products can be tremendously detrimental to the common consumer. If ingesting certain chemicals will cause reactions that are not ideal, then the customer should be given the capacity to know this and educational messaging can facilitate the knowledge that they can have of the products and effects. Furthermore, companies should be the ones required to provide these forms of educational messages if they are providing these types of products. Creating programs to actively inform the consumer of each product offered or having advertisements which clearly detail the health risks associated, if there are any, is the moral and ethical approach to ensuring that consumers are using products as they should be. Lastly, companies should be held more accountable if their products do not meet present and established standards of health or if they falsely advertise their products as being healthier or safer than they really are, and these penalties should be enforced to ensure maximum accountability on behalf of the companies who are issuing these products.