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Sunday 23rd October 2016

Single food labelling call

7th May 2009

Experts have called for a single food labelling system to be implemented across the UK.


A group, funded by the Food Standards Agency, looked at the issue of food labelling and focused on the various different schemes that have been introduced by retailers and manufacturers.

They concluded that not having a standard scheme was confusing for consumers but also indicated that many elements of the different schemes already in use should be incorporated into a single scheme.

The FSA group recommended a combination of words - high, medium and low - traffic light coding and guideline daily amounts (GDA) be adopted.

Some retailers are using GDAs showing the percentage of daily recommended fat, sugar and salt intake each serving contains while others favour a traffic lights system with red meaning high levels of fat or sugar.

Some retailers have a mix of the two but the government wants a single scheme.

The group discovered the system that resulted in the highest level of understanding was one using the words high, medium and low, combined with a traffic light labelling system and GDA figures.

The Food and Drinks Federation, which represents the industry, is in the process of examining the findings but stressed that it was important to consider what was happening across Europe, where GDAs – its favoured option - are more popular.

The British Heart Foundation’s chief executive Peter Hollins said: "It's time for food companies to stop making excuses, support one system and ensure shoppers are given the 'at a glance' information they need."


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