companies use all sorts of tricks to hide stuff like that. Soup companies use yeast to put MSG in Soup without reporting it (it's a by product of the yeast, which serves no other purpose).
And recently there has been the phenomenon where companies try to hide things by using confusing nomenclature. E.g., "evaporated cane juice" in products with "no added sugar." Yeah -- "cane juice" -- it must be good for you, since they call it "juice"! Well, it's just another form of sugar... processed slightly differently, but still basically sucrose.
Basically, it's just a game... try to make things sound "natural" and "wholesome" when they're basically the same old crap. Same thing goes for "brown rice syrup" used as a sweetener in many things... basically sugar. But it's "brown rice"!! (Of course, brown rice also often has elevated levels of arsenic and other things... but hey, it's "natural" and "brown," so it must be good!)
You know how we found out sodium nitrate causes cancer?
Funny that you bring nitrates up, because that's one of my favorite examples of nonsense labeling. First, we get most of our nitrates from vegetables, so worrying about the small amounts in bacon and cured meats is probably not as big a deal as people make of it. (Yes, yes... cooking does other things to the nitrates and can make them bad, but proper curing also deactivates most of them too... we could argue this all day.)
But regardless of that, my favorite misleading labeling is all the "uncured" meats you see these days: "uncured bacon," "uncured salami," etc. Yeah, except these almost always contain huge amounts of "concentrated celery juice" (or sometimes another agent) which contains more nitrates than the standard salts used traditionally to cure meat. (And no -- to those natural foods wackos -- there's no evidence to support the idea that somehow those nitrates are better for you in the concentrated celery juice... basically because "natural" celery juice has unpredictable amounts of nitrates, they need to add more of them than they would for tradition curing salts.)
People just want stuff called "natural" with "juice" and "brown X" and "natural flavors" in it. It's almost all bogus nonsense, and often you end up paying a huge premium for something that could very well be worse for you.
Moral of the story: Labels frequently don't work to tell people what's actually better. Not saying we shouldn't try to use them, but companies will weasel their way around anything to appeal to customers.
(By the way, I'm all in favor of cooking for yourself with whole ingredients, using less "processed" foods, etc. But bogus "natural foods" nonsense is bogus nonsense.)