Defra to favour GDA food labelling

The food industry will edge closer to victory on food labelling when the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) calls for the use of Guideline Daily Amounts (GDA) for energy and nutrients and front-of-pack labelling instead

The food industry will edge closer to victory on food labelling today (Wednesday) when the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) calls for the use of Guideline Daily Amounts (GDA) for energy and nutrients and front-of-pack labelling instead of the traffic-light system.

The GDA scheme is known to be favoured by the food industry over the “simplistic” traffic light system, although it is understood that Food Standards Agency (FSA) research into the scheme found that consumers believed GDA was confusing.

The call by the department’s Efra Committee, made in a report following its inquiry into food information, comes just a week after the FSA started a consultation on a variety of labelling schemes.

The Efra Committee urges the Government to use its presidency of the European Union to bring in the necessary legislation and calls for mandatory provision of extensive nutrition information on pre-packaged food. This includes details such as the salt equivalent as well as sodium levels.

The committee has also demanded that Defra takes the lead on food information policy to allow it to send clear and consistent messages to the industry. It also wants the department to take joint responsibility for reducing levels of obesity in the UK.

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