*Update 25 October 2012*
Tesco, the UK’s largest retailer, will soon be using a hybrid consumer information system combining the already existing Guideline Daily Amounts (GDAs) with traffic lights. The move has been widely welcomed by Europe’s public health community – a largely strong advocate of the colour-coded scheme.
***Update October 2012***
Following on from a decision from the UK government, from mid 2013, the national leading food producers and retailers will use an hybrid system combining traffic lights and guidelines daily amounts all on front-of-pack labelling.
“By having a consistent system we will all be able to see at a glance what is in our food. This will help us all choose healthier options and control our calorie intake.” said Anna Soubry, public health Minister.
Strong advocate of a traffic lights labelling scheme during the negotiations on the EU Regulation on Food Information to Consumers, EPHA welcomes the UK move and hopes it leads other countries to follow.
***Update September 2012***
Following on from Tesco‘s move towards a traffic light colour coding system to be implemented on its food and drink products (in the UK), Aldi and Lidl, two major discount chains, announced they will follow the move and put into place the same system.
***Update August 2012***
On 22 August 2012, Tesco, the UK’s largest retailer, announced the forthcoming implementation of a traffic light colour coding system in addition to its GDAs on the company’s food and drinks products.
The move followed research initiated by the supermarket chain and by a recent consultation on front of pack nutrition labelling.
Tesco’s decision has been warmly welcomed by Europe’s public health community, including the British Heart Foundation and the European Heart Network – an EPHA member that followed the dossier very closely and applauded the move in a press release.
EPHA strongly backs the traffic light labelling scheme as an efficient interpretative element to help consumers make the healthiest choice. Consequently, EPHA advocated for the system to be part of the European Union Regulation on Food Information to Consumers at the time it was debated. In a disappointing move, the final text, the EU Regulation 1169/2011, failed to include it.