News article

20 April 2011

UK food industry response to European vote on food information proposal

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PRESS RELEASE

Responding to the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) committee of the European Parliament's vote on the Food Information Proposal, Terry Jones, Director of Communications at the Food and Drink Federation said:

“The UK food manufacturing sector is well ahead of other EU states on labelling, and we are pleased with the outcome of MEP's votes on some aspects of the Proposal, namely: nutrition labelling, the exemptions granted for small packs and some aspects of the broader approach on legibility – despite moves to introduce a mandatory minimum font size."

“However, we still have a number of concerns about the ENVI Committee's votes. We believe that the call for mandatory labeling of trans-fats (TFAs) is completely unnecessary – The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has found that the low levels of TFAs consumed in EU countries do not pose a public health concern."

“Also, MEPs support of 100g/100ml energy values on front-of-pack (FOP) with per portion information only as an addition will not actually help consumers make healthier choices. A recent EUFIC study showed that consumers find nutrition information per portion the most useful way to inform themselves about what they are actually eating, and our members have been providing voluntary information for energy FOP per portion using the GDA scheme for a number of years."

“We are disappointed that MEPs have voted in favour of the mandatory extension of existing rules (e.g. for single ingredient products) on country of origin labelling (COOL), without considering calls from several member states, the European Commission and industry for an impact assessment to define if this would bring added value to the consumer, and the costs, feasibility and practicability of industry to implement such rules."

“We will continue to work towards a pragmatic approach to ensure that food labels are not overcomplicated for the consumer, and, at the same time, that the final outcome presents a workable piece of legislation for food manufacturers, helping to promote the competitiveness of the UK's food and drink industry.”

Note 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. EUFIC 2011: How do consumers respond to portion information on food and drink labels?

More Information

FDF Press team
Nicki Hunt on or 020 7420 7132 - nicki.hunt@fdf.org.uk
Rebecca Wilhelm or 020 7420 7140 rebecca.wilhelm@fdf.org.uk
Sarah Jenkinson or 020 7420 7131 - sarah.jenkinson@fdf.org.uk

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