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MEPs vote on food labelling

17th June 2010

A more uniform system of food labelling could be implemented within the next three to five years.

fishandsoybeans

It follows moves by Euro MPs to back the Guideline Daily Amounts (GDAs) system in preference to traffic light colour coding of foods which had been opposed by food producers. 

Glenis Willmott, who leads the UK Labour group in the European Parliament, said the move should stop people being misled.

She added that despite the rejection of "traffic lights" the new rules "make it clear that we won't stand for people being misled by food packaging".

Under the plan key nutritional information such as salt, saturated fat, energy, carbohydrates and sugar content will have to go on the front of the pack.

MEPs were also concerned about country of origin labelling, with Danish bacon sometimes labelled UK produce.

The next step is for EU government ministers to consider the legislation.

Supporters of improved food labelling say changes are needed because more shoppers now buy food on the internet and food is packaged in new ways.

Rising obesity rates also suggest consumers need more help in making the right choices of food.

Traffic light coding, however, is used by some supermarkets and is backed by the European Consumers' Organisation BEUC which it maintains that research has shown it is the most useful for shoppers and the easiest for consumers to understand.

 

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