Food Law News - UK - 2001

FSA Letter, 31 July 2001

LABELLING - Food Labelling Action Plan: Criteria for the Use of the Terms Fresh, Pure, Natural Etc

The letter seeks views on draft advice to industry and enforcement authorities on use of these terms on food labels and in advertising. Consumer research and public consultation have identified consumer dissatisfaction with, and distrust of, a wide range of so-called "marketing terms". These are not defined in law and, if used inappropriately, they may mislead.

When the Agency's Board discussed and agreed its Food Labelling Action Plan in September last year, it agreed the Agency should encourage industry to adopt clear, transparent criteria for the use of potentially misleading terms like "fresh", "traditional" etc. The Board invited the Food Advisory Committee, which advises the Agency on food safety and standards issues (including labelling), to investigate how these terms were being used and advise on development of Agency guidance.

The Committee has now published its report, and draft Agency advice based on its recommendations are available on the FSA web site at:
Copies of the full report (in pdf format) are available from the Agency's website at:


The FSA would welcome views on the draft criteria and all aspects of the FAC's report. Are there are other terms that could usefully be tackled in a similar way? They are particularly keen to have ideas on examples to include in the guidance of valid, and inappropriate, usage of the terms covered.

There are also some specific points raised in the FAC's report on which the FSA would like views:

Comments on the Criteria are required no later than 31 October.

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