Food Law News - EU - 2013

Council Press Release, 17 December 2013

LABELLING - Council discussions: "Traffic lights" nutrition labelling system

The following is an extract from the Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting:

The Italian delegation, supported by Croatia, expressed concerns about the possible impact of a recommendation of the British Department of Health for a "traffic lights" nutrition labelling system (16575/13 [see below]).

Italy received support from many delegations worried about the potential consequences of this labelling system on the free movement of goods. This could mislead the consumer by providing wrong health information and could affect specifically the circulation of traditional regional food products wrongly stigmatised by this colour system.

The Commission recalled that the system developed by the United Kingdom is a voluntary system made possible by the legislation on labelling which develops also mandatory provisions. It proposes a front-of-pack nutrition labelling for food products. This system combines red, amber and green colour-coding and nutritional information to highlight information on energy and certain nutrients – fats, saturates, sugars and salt – which can have been shown to harm people’s health if eaten in large quantities. However, the Commission is ready to prepare a report in due course on all the labelling systems put in place by the member states in the framework of the current legislation.

A copy of the Italian paper is available on this site.  See: 16575/13: “Hybrid” nutrition labeling system recommended in some Member States - Information from the Italian delegation

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