FSA may extend labelling

Alcoholic drinks may be included in the new labelling and signposting schemes aimed at helping consumers make healthier food choices, according to the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

Speaking at a Food International conference on consumer signposting last week, FSA director of consumer choice and dietary health Gill Fine said she “would not ruleÂout”ÂextendingÂany chosen signposting scheme to include alcohol. She said: “It will be a voluntary scheme in the first instance, but we will see where else it could be useful.”

Her comments came as the FSA launched it largest consumer research project on signposting and front-of-pack labelling. It is planning to interview more than 2,600 consumers about their views on the four potential schemes the agency hopes consumers will find easier to understand than existing systems. The schemes are a simple traffic light, a multiple traffic light and two systems based on guideline daily amounts.

The FSA hopes that the research will be completed by July. There will be a further consultation period, where the FSA will ask for guidance and look at the final issues to be addressed. The FSA aims to be ready to introduce a voluntary scheme by 2006.

A spokeswoman for the FSA says that the agency is still looking into signposting and front-of-pack labelling, but it has not got as far as seeing how it could be rolled out.

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