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MEPs reject "traffic light" food labelling system

06-18-2010 08:53 BJT

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The European Parliament has voted for the fat, salt and sugar content of all processed foods to be labelled on the front of packets. However, some members rejected plans to introduce "traffic light" labels that would have required high-fat,sugary or salty foods to carry red warning labels.

Food labels are about to change but not the way many had hoped.

The European Union has rejected a traffic light system devised by the UK Food Standards Agency.

Instead it chose the Guideline Daily Amounts system favored by food manufacturers.

Consumer groups are furious - they'd argued the red, amber green signs would encourage healthy eating.

Dave McCollough, EU Consumers's Organization, said, "We're obviously very disappointed. European consumer groups, public health authorities, doctors associations had wanted very much to see this traffic-light system because it was best understood by consumers, introduced all across Europe. The vast majority of the food industry was lobbying very hard against this regulation, this amendment to pass the traffic lights. Literally hundreds of lobbyists in Strasbourg this week were trying to persuade MEPs, which they obviously did, very successfully."


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