UK lobbying leads to food labelling changes

by Editor
Friday, October 07, 2011

Thanks to heavy lobbying in Europe by the United Kingdom, food labelling will be clearer, simpler and more honest reports the UK's Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. DEFRA added that as a result of these efforts, it will be easier for consumers to know what's in the food they're buying.

The EU agreed to make it compulsory for manufacturers and retailers to clearly state the country of origin of fresh and frozen meat; if any of the main ingredients in foods claiming British origin are actually imported; if there is more than 5% water content in cuts of meat such as bacon; nutritional labelling on the back of packs; the types of vegetable oils used - such as palm oil; information in an agreed minimum sized font; allergen information for unpackaged food, including in restaurants; and high caffeine drinks will require additional labelling.

The EU also agreed to enable voluntary provision of calorie information in out-of-home settings.

Britain has also protected its traditional practice of selling by numbers - such as a dozen bread rolls or eggs - and imperial measures, from EU plans to require metric weights on all products, thanks to strong lobbying.