William Eichler 12 February 2018

Traffic light labelling on food should be ‘mandatory’, councils say

Traffic light labelling on food and drink should become mandatory after Brexit in order to help fight obesity, council chiefs say.

In 2013, the Department of Health introduced a voluntary traffic light scheme to help consumers choose healthy products.

The labels divide food and drink items into low, medium or high depending on how much fat, salt, sugar, saturates and calories each product contains.

Those with the highest of each are marked in red.

Under European Union (EU) legislation, the UK Government can only make recommendations to industry on how to label their products.

The Local Government Association (LGA) has said a mandatory system after the UK has left the EU would give consumers ‘at-a-glance information’ that enables them to make healthy choices.

‘Any post-Brexit review of EU food laws gives the Government the opportunity to introduce legislation to standardise food labelling,’ said Cllr Izzi Seccombe, chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board.

‘At a time when two-thirds of adults and more than a fifth of four and five-year-olds are obese or overweight, helping people make more informed choices about what they eat will clearly also help tackle the obesity crisis we face as a nation.’

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