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New food labelling welcomed by manufacturers but not all sign

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New food labelling welcomed by manufacturers but not all sign

June 29
10:13 2013

Most food and drink manufacturers have welcomed the launch of a new front-of-pack, voluntary food labelling system by the Department of Health (DH) today (June 19). But some big firms have refused to sign.

The new scheme – to be phased in over the next 18 months – will feature front-of-pack (FoP) labelling involving colour coded advice about products’ content of fat, salt, sugar and calories. It aimed to replace competition between rival schemes such as systems based on traffic light labelling and Guideline Daily Amounts (GDAs).

Manufacturers that have pledged their support include Premier Foods, Mars UK, Nestlé UK, McCain Foods and PepsiCo UK. They are joined by all the major retailers — including Sainsbury, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, the Co-operative and Waitrose. Other manufacturers, such as Cadbury (Kraft), Coca-Cola and United Biscuits, have not yet done so.

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) said its members have voluntarily provided FoP nutrition information for many years and had implemented FoP nutrition labelling consistently across Europe.

‘Clear, factual labels’

“We did it because we wanted to be transparent when it comes to nutrition information on pack, and to provide consumers with clear, factual labels intended to help them put the food they eat in the context of their overall diet,” said Melanie Leech, FDF director general.

Public health minister Anna Soubry said: “People will be able to use the colours to understand the levels of nutrients in the food they are eating. The labels are not designed to demonise foods with lots of reds but to have people consider what they are eating and make sure it’s part of a balanced diet.

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