Parents reject GDA labelling system

Parents have sided against the food industry by backing the traffic-light food labelling scheme rather than the guideline daily amounts (GDA) system adopted by the majority of manufacturers, according to a new survey by website Netmums.

The website found that 80% of the 17,000 parents surveyed support the use of the traffic-light system, which uses red, amber and green as a guide to nutritional values of products.

The food industry has been adopting the GDA system over the past year claiming that it offers more detail about levels of salt, fat and sugar in products and avoids demonising certain foods.

The survey, published today, found that parents prefer the traffic-light system because it is simple and easy to use with their children. The Netmums survey is part of the website’s “Stop pushing junk to our children” campaign, which launched in 2003.

The traffic-light scheme is supported by the Food Standards Agency, the British Heart Foundation and some food companies and retailers, including Sainsbury’s. The GDA labelling has been more widely adopted by companies including Walkers, Danone and Tesco.


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