Our EU chums are getting shirty over our traffic light labelling on food

9 July 2014

new food labellingEveryone knows that if you constantly eat crap, you end up a pale and unhealthy glutinous mass. Of course, everyone is free to choose what they eat, but as part of a drive to help people make informed choices, UK food retailers largely conform to the voluntary traffic light food labelling system, which tells you whether the amount of fat and sugar you are about to cram in your gob is good (green) or less good (red).

Now, however, some of our European chums have decided that, far from being helpful and informative, this traffic light labelling is in fact discriminatory and rude, and have run off to the European Commission to tell tales. The group, led by Italy, is concerned that, as their national produce such as prosciutto and Parmesan might end up with red labels, we are clearly trying to stealthily stop all UK people eating foreign muck.

Italy accused the UK’s labelling system of ‘clearly influencing customer choice’ and got its mates, Slovakia, Luxembourg, Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Slovenia, Romania, Portugal together with France just for good measure, to back it up. They all stood around huffily in the EC until the Commission agreed to investigate. Their challenge is supported by UK local retailer the Co-operative who undertook a survey which found that 40% of women and 30% of men had decided against buying a product owing to its red traffic light labelling.

The Commission’s findings are expected in a few weeks, but its investigation will consider whether the labelling infringes basic EU tenets of the free market within Europe.

However, Glenis Willmott, UK MEP Health Spokesperson condemned the challenge, describing the case as “spurious” and claiming EU legislation was clear in permitting voluntary informational labelling on products. If the EU finds against the UK, and the UK refuses to withdraw the labelling, we could be landed with a heavy fine.

It seems the irony of us pasty Britishers hankering after a more Mediterranean diet is lost on our near neighbours.


  • Ian30
    Everytime the EU fine us for breaking one of there tenets we should withhold the same amount from our contributions/sub/fees to the european union. Until such time as a common sense tenet is passed, sensus communis, κοινὴ αἲσθησις (koinē aísthēsis), bon sens, buonsenso, if you fails such a tenet it could not be a rule/regulation/law. Common sense would remove the need for 90% of Brussels red tape/rule/regulation/law and 80% of the costs associated with them. But then again it would require common sense to apply it something in very short supply in Brussels, maybe each nation ships off the incompetent to Brussels to get them out of there bureaucracy and merely succeeded in a greater mess. Has anyone ever checked the qualifications and experiance of those running the boondoggle that Brussels has become?
  • Jon
    I find the scheme is a good indicator of how good the item tastes. Full of green, it tastes horrible; full of red, it will be a party in my mouth and everyone is invited. Given the choice I'll go for the latter.
  • Slacker
    Fuck the EU. We'll be out of that mess soon enough anyway.
  • Fuck p.
    "40% of women and 30% of men had decided against buying a product owing to its red traffic light labelling." So basically, people saw unhealthy shit, and chose not to buy it? YES, THAT'S THE WHOLE POINT YOU EURO-TWATS.
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