New food labelling system to be launched
How many grams of fat are in that massive pie you’re eating? Chances are you neither know, nor care – and you probably didn’t read the label (unless you’re on some kind of special high-fat pie diet.)
For a long time, food labelling in the UK has been a mysterious and inconsistent art, with industry leaders unable to agree on universal front-of-pack nutritional information. But finally, a new colour coded system has been designed that everyone can kind of agree on. AND HERE IT IS.
It’s not exactly earth shattering stuff, and quite similar to the ‘traffic light’ system already in use by some supermarkets. But campaigners are praising its simplicity, in that you can see how crap your food is by just glancing at the packet.
The new system will be rolled out across all the major supermarkets over the next 18 months, and food companies like PepsiCo and Nestle will also take it on.
Health Minister Anna Soubry said: 'By having all the major retailers and manufacturers signed up to the consistent label, we will all be able to see at a glance what is in our food - this is why I want to see more manufacturers signing up and using the label.'
But the scheme is voluntary, and some major brands - including Coca-Cola and Cadbury - are refusing to sign up, preferring to use the Guideline Daily Amounts system (and maybe because all the little tabs would be red?). In fact, only around 60% of foods will have the new labels, leaving a fairly substantial amount of shadowy, unmarked cheese puffs and sausage rolls lurking around in the food chain.
Well, sometimes, it's better not to know.