Food Law News - UK - 2000

21 January 2000: LABELLING - Tell Us What You Think On Food Labels

MAFF Press Release (23/00), 21 January 2000

Tell Us What You Think On Food Labels

Consumers are given the chance today to tell the government what they want to see on food labels. MAFF's Minister of State in the Lords, Baroness Hayman, launched the government's Better Food Labelling Initiative while on a regional visit to Kellogg's headquarters in Manchester .

Baroness Hayman said:
" I believe consumers have a right to clear informative labels to help them make informed choices about foods. Independent consumer research shows many people would like to see more information on labels and many find it difficult to use the information which is there. There is also concern about marketing claims which maybe confusing or even misleading. I would particularly like to know what information consumers think should always be on labels, and how they think it should be presented to make it easier to use. There are also obviously opportunities to use technology in this area. It is no use hiding details away in small type in a corner of the label or using language which ordinary people cannot understand. I want to encourage the widest possible debate of these issues and I invite everyone with an interest to let us know their views."

Over the next few months the government will:

An open meeting will be held in London in March so that members of the public and consumer organisations can pass their comments directly to Baroness Hayman.

The Food Labelling Regulations 1996, SI No 1499 (as amended) implement the European Community Food Labelling Directive 79/112/EEC. Similar, but separate legislation applies in Northern Ireland. These Regulations lay down detailed requirements for the labelling of most food.

The results of the initiative will be handed to the new government body, the Food Standards Agency which takes over responsibility for food labelling in April this year.

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