The European Parliament today voted on front of pack food labelling. The vote is intended to introduce a European-wide food labelling system for processed foods (ready meals, sandwiches, pies etc). The BDA have announced that they are “Extremely Disappointed” with the decision.
The BDA Reaction To Euro Vote On Front Of Pack Food Labelling
“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 eat. We are extremely disappointed that the ‘traffic light colours’ system was not voted in favour of as the GDA labelling alone does not allow a quick understanding of the relative healthiness of a product and is less acceptable to those consumers wanting to make a quick choice.” British Dietetic Association Chairman, Helen Davidson
MEPs had three options of front of pack labelling:
- The ‘traffic light colours’ system with Guideline Daily Amounts (GDA) and the words high, medium or low for Salt, Sugar, Fat and Saturates.
- The GDA system showing percentage of Salt, Fat etc per 100g
- Displaying calories only.
MEPs voted in favour of the GDA system. This means that for many consumers the advice on the packaging will continue to be unclear. When people want to make a quick decision when shopping they may continue to opt for the high sugar options that are simply marketed as “low fat”.