EU MPs to vote on uniform system of food labelling

European MPs are expected to approve a pan-European uniform system of food labelling in the EU in a parliament session later today (16 June).

However, it is still unclear if a “traffic light” colour coding of foods will be approved, with red warning labels for foods seen as unhealthy because they are high in fat, sugar or salt seen to be the more favourable options despite industry fears that it could “demonise” products.

If passed, the MEPs’ vote could lead to new food labels in three to five years’ time. The Commission says food labels need updating because many shoppers now buy food on the internet and because food is packaged in new ways.

The vote follows the European Parliament’s environment committee rejecting mandatory “traffic lights” in March, saying there should be scope for countries to retain national schemes, provided they did not violate EU rules.

The new legislation would include on the front-of-pack label the energy, fat, saturated fat and carbohydrates, with specific reference to sugar and salt content – all expressed as per 100ml, per 100g or per portion.

Mandatory allergen labelling would be extended to food that was not pre-packed, including restaurant food.

Once it is agreed, food producers will have three years to update their labels, and small firms with fewer than 100 employees will have five years to do so.

In the UK, 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 nutrition labelling.

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here