UK govt to come up with new voluntary front of-pack nutrition labeling scheme

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The government of UK has said that it will come up with new voluntary front of-pack nutrition labeling scheme by next summer to standardize labels acro...

The government of UK has said that it will come up with new voluntary front of-pack nutrition labeling scheme by next summer to standardize labels across food manufacturers and retailers.

After a 3-month consultation with industry and other partners, the new labels will display the guideline daily amounts in association with colour coding and text to indicate high, medium or low amounts of fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt as well as how many calories the product has.

Anna Soubry, Public Health Minister said, “The UK already has large number of with front of pack labels in Europe but research has shown that consumers get confused by the wide variety of labels used. By having a consistent system we will be able to at a glance what is in our food. This will help us all choose healthier options and control our calorie intake.” 

The UK government will be working with the industry to ensure consistent labeling, although the details of how the new scheme will look are not yet available.

The announcement was welcomed by The British Dietetic Association. Helen Davidson, BDA Chairman said, “The British Dietetic Association wants consumers to have access to clear, consistent, at glance information to help them to make informed choices about the food they buy and eat. Consumers need a quick understanding of the relative healthiness of the product. This is a significant step forward.”

As per a recent survey from market research company Canadean, nearly three quarters of UK consumers, 73% support a universal labeling system; while 32% say they prefer to buy foods that carry a traffic light label.

All over Europe, 48% of packaged food products have nutrition information front-of-pack, according to Food Labelling to Advance Better Education for Life, compared to about 80% in the UK.

According to FLABEL, GDAs and nutrition claims are the most common forms of front-of-pack nutrition information, both present on about a quarter of European foods. 

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