By law, packaged food products must display an ingredients list (in decreasing order of weight), nutritional panel, and products are limited in what they can claim as healh benefits of those foods.
In the past days or so I've reviewed a "diet" jelly product, only to find it contains 4 known additives (artificial sweeteners and colours) which have been proven to cause cancer and are banned in many countries, and other additives which can cause intolerances or allergies, hyperactivity in children, weight gain, diabetes, and other symptoms and conditions. Or bottled water, from China?! How on earth does this stuff actually get approved for sale?
Another product being widely marketed at the moment is a "cholesterol-lowering" breakfast cereal, claiming to reduce your cholesterol by 9%! Why? All of the quality independent research in the last 10+ years on cholesterol proves that having high cholesterol levels does NOT cause heart disease! In fact, the same research shows that the lower you cholesterol level is, the HIGHER your risk of death by heart disease. Our bodies NEED lots of cholesterol - without it you can't make your male or female hormones, you can't make vitamin D for good immune health or to reduce inflammation, and you can't make the walls of hundreds of millions of new cells every day to replace old or worn out cells. Your energy production will suffer, as will your brain function, heart function, and much more, without good cholesterol levels. A 9% drop in cholesterol isn't actually going to do much anyway, despite their hype. For example, a total cholesterol level of 5.0 will only be lowered by 0.45, or a level of 6 will be reduced to 5.46 - not really an amount to get excited about.
The marketing of the cholesterol lowering cereal is a bit dubious or misleading at best, when you read the fine print on the box or their website... which says: "2g of plant sterols daily lowers cholesterol within 4 weeks as part of a healthy diet low in saturated fat and sugar"! The key words here are "as part of a healthy diet low in sugar", as simply lowering your sugar intake on its own will lower your cholesterol! Having a healthy diet without any grain products will also lower cholesterol, but weetbix on its own (without other dietary changes) will actually increase bad cholesterol!
Dubious and toxic ingredients are not only found in your "food" products, but other products you use on a daily basis too - household cleaning products, shampoos, toothpastes, washing powders/liquids, and many, many more.
Hence it pays to read and understand the ingredients in all of your products which you might eat, use or be exposed to. For your foods, I use a free app on my phone called "Food Additives", or for chemicals in personal hygiene or cleaning products, a free app called "Think Dirty". There are other similar ones around. I highly recommend using such products and checking product labels BEFORE you buy them in the supermarket!
The more you are familiar with the chemicals which you put on and in your body, and avoid them, the better your health (and that of your family) will be! Or better yet, just buy more fresh, real, whole foods, which don't come with product labels - vegies, fruit, quality grass-fed meats and healthy fats!