FSA launches FoP labelling consultation

The Food Standards Agency in both Northern Ireland and Scotland has launched a consultation on front-of-pack (FoP) nutrition labelling in a bid, it says, to help consumers keep track of what they eat and choose healthier foods.
The consultation opens discussions with FSA’s key partners over how it can achieve this through FoP nutrition labelling. Many food products sold in the UK already have some form of FoP labelling. However, different retailers and manufacturers have different ways of labelling, which can be confusing for consumers.
“Some use labels showing Guideline Daily Amount (%GDA), some use traffic light colour coding that highlights high fat sugar and salt content, and some use both,” explains an FSA spokesman. “Research shows that a more consistent approach, used across all products, would make it easier for consumers to compare the nutritional information provided on the food they buy.”
The FSA in Scotland and Northern Ireland is responsible for policy relating to nutrition labelling and, working with health ministers across the UK, says it is committed to providing consumers with information to help them make more informed food choices.
“Research indicates that one key way of providing this information is for all food manufacturers and retailers to use one clear system – on the front of packs – to show how much fat, salt and sugar, and how much energy is in their products,” adds the spokesman.
New EU regulations on food labelling were introduced at the end of last year that require manufacturers and retailers to make many changes to their food labels. While providing front-of-pack information is voluntary under the regulations, every company that does so has to provide information about calories alone, or calories plus the amount of fats, saturated fat, sugars and salt.

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