News article

22 July 2010

No Added Salt - Surely That's a Good Thing?

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PRESS RELEASE

The Food and Drink Federation[1] is urging EU Members States to back a measure that will allow companies to continue highlighting products that contain no added salt.

Officials from across Europe are meeting in Brussels on Friday 23 July and are due to discuss technical issues relating to the EU Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation)[2] – including a proposal to allow claims such as 'no added salt' to be made by manufacturers[2]. Member States now have to agree whether these claims should be accepted.

Barbara Gallani, FDF's Director of Food Safety & Science, says:

“UK food and drink manufacturers have made significant efforts to help consumers reduce their salt intake through product reformulation and innovation. Indeed, some products only exist because of their ability to make the 'no added salt' claim. National authorities across Europe recognise the importance of controlling the levels of salt in the diet and so we urge them to consider the addition of this claim as part of the Annex to the Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation. We are keen to ensure no more time is wasted in achieving a resolution for this issue as we want our members to be able to continue to label food products in a way that helps consumers to make healthier choices.”

The reality of not including this terminology in the Annex would mean that products such as tinned sweetcorn in water, which contains trace elements of naturally occurring sodium as it takes in minerals from the soil as it grows, will no longer be able to be claim to contain 'no added salt'. This prevents the manufacturer communicating the benefits of a product canned in water over the same product canned in brine, presenting a real barrier to consumers seeking to choose products that could help control or reduce their salt intake.

Other examples of products that will be affected, should EU Member States not approve the 'no added salt' claim, include breakfast cereals, such as muesli, potato-based savoury snacks and seasoning blends.

FDF is also calling for 'X% less salt/fat/sugar' claims to be included in the Annex, as these are another example of familiar terminology which helps consumers choose products that fit into a healthily balanced diet.

Notes to Editors

1. The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) is the voice of the food and drink manufacturing industry – the UK's largest manufacturing sector.

2. The European Commission has developed a proposal for additional nutrition claims to be added to the Nutrition Claims Annex of the EU Regulation – including the claim 'no added sodium / no added salt'. If approved, this claim would only be allowed where a product does not contain any added sodium/salt, or any other food additive used to add sodium/salt to the product, and not more than 0.12 g sodium, or the equivalent value for salt, per 100g or 100ml.

More Information

FDF Press team
Cath Wilkins on cath.wilkins@fdf.org.uk or 020 7420 7132
Sarah Lovell on sarah.lovell@fdf.org.uk or 020 7420 7131
Rebecca Wilhelm rebecca.wilhelm@fdf.org.uk or 020 7420 7140

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