News article

1 February 2012

MEPs urged to support 'X% less' labelling claim

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PRESS RELEASE

Ahead of a vote in the European Parliament, the UK's food and drink industry has urged members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to support the European Commission's proposed amendment to allow manufacturers to include 'x% less' or 'no added salt' claims on their products.

The Food and Drink Federation's Barbara Gallani, Director of Food Safety and Science, highlights the potential positive impact on industry's reformulation work and consumer health. She said:

“Use of the 'X% less claim' encourages innovation and product reformulation as it incentivises manufacturers to continue their reformulation efforts even where technical solutions are difficult to find. [2] Product reformulation is being promoted at national and European level as a means to encourage healthier choices and improve public health.[3] A step-wise approach to reformulation is often necessary from a technological standpoint and also to accommodate gradual change in consumer taste and thus acceptance.

“The 'now contains x% less' claim would allow incremental reductions of a minimum of 15% of energy/fat/saturated fat/salt/sodium to be communicated to consumers in a transparent and useful way. Comparison would be against the previous recipe and a clear statement providing the level of reduction achieved would also be required.

“We strongly urge MEPs voting in tomorrow's plenary session to support the European Commission's proposal to allow food and drink manufacturers' use of the 'now X% less' and 'no added salt' claims.

Notes for editors

  1. The The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) is the voice of the food and drink manufacturing industry – the UK's largest manufacturing sector. For more information about FDF and the industry we represent.
  2. Use of the 'X% less' claim would only be allowed for a maximum of one year following the placing on the market of the reformulated product.
  3. Data indicates that two thirds of dietary changes are typically driven from reformulation rather than consumers switching (Source Kantar Worldpanel)

More information

For further information please contact the 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
Anna Taylor or 020 7420 7118 - anna.taylor@fdf.org.uk

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