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Jun. 4 – UK: FSA issues guidance for clearer food labelling

From – Europe:

New labelling guidelines were issued this week by the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) to help manufacturers in present vital product information in a clearer way.

The guidelines focus on recommendations for the presentation of information, focusing on factors such as size, font and layout to ensure optimum visibility. They also recommend front-of-pack nutritional information to help consumers make an informed choice on the food they buy…

The revised guidelines come the same time a proposal for EU-wide labelling legislation, aimed at improving clarity and consistency to the sporadic policies currently adopted across Europe, is being debated between the European Council and Parliament.

The FSA’s new guidelines share similarities with the EU proposals and will set in motion some of the proposals currently being investigated. However, the FSA said the EU proposals did not directly inform UK guidelines…

FSA’s guidelines are only voluntary, with more general labelling requirements are controlled by the Food Labelling Regulations of 1996…

Stricter but simpler labelling procedures were proposed by the European Commission in January in a bid to combat the growing problem of obesity across Europe…

The proposed legislation pushes for manufacturers to display nutritional information on the front of the pack.

Products would be required to show energy, fat, saturated fat and carbohydrates, with specific reference to sugars and salt content of the product, expressed in terms of per 100ml/100g or per portion. In addition, the amount of these elements in relation to the reference intakes would have to be indicated.

Mandatory information must be printed in a minimum size of 3mm, with a significant contrast between the writing and the background, and the country of origin should be determined in accordance with the Community Custom Code.

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