FSA agrees plan for nutrition labelling

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is calling on companies to include both traffic light colours and Daily Guideline Daily Amounts (GDAs) after its board agreed a single approach to front-of-pack (FOP) nutrition labelling.

Food labelling

The FSA will “encourage” businesses to use both elements alongside text to help “consumers interpret nutritional information”.

The Agency also wants food makers to ensure the information is presented “in a way that is clearly visible and prominent”. It adds that only traffic light colours – red amber, green – should be used to “avoid consumer confusion”.

Additionally, the FSA says that “information on portion size should be realistic and not mislead” and that labels should be used on a wider range of processed packaged foods.

The FSA adds it does not support FOP labels using only % GDAs, which is preferred by many in the food industry.

Jeff Rooker, FSA board chair, says: “The board was clear that it wanted a single approach to front of pack labelling that works. Tremendous progress has been made by industry in taking up front-of-pack labelling but different schemes are causing confusion to consumers”.

The board’s agreement follows the publication of its initial principles for FOP labelling in 2006. These are designed to help consumers easily understand the levels of fat, saturated fat, salt and sugars in food products.

The Agency will advise ministers of its recommendations before undertaking a four to six week consultation on the technical guidance that will be needed to implement the board’s recommendations.

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Tom Fishburne is founder of Marketoon Studios. Follow his work at marketoonist.com or on Twitter @tomfishburne See more of the Marketoonist here

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