Debate on labelling regulation updates tonight

Posted on 10 Feb 2009 by The Manufacturer

Over 100 food and drink manufacturing executives are to meet with members of European Parliament in Brussels tonight for a debate on labelling.

Organised by the UK Food and Drink Federation, the topic of the debate will be: ‘Labelling: an effective tool to improve the food literacy of EU consumers?’

The event comes amid ongoing discussions regarding new EU labelling regulation.

Ross Warburton, President of FDF, said: “We are proud of the fact that for more than a decade UK industry has been leading the way by providing clearer nutritional information on back-of-pack on a voluntary basis.

“In recent years UK manufacturers have also been putting that information on the front of our products in the form of Guideline Daily Amount labelling. In showing such leadership, our sector is again making a real difference for consumers.”

On stage for the debate will be:

• Dr Renate Sommer MEP, the European Parliament’s rapporteur for the proposed EU Labelling Regulation;
• Professor Klaus Grunert of Aarhus University, who recently conducted a pan-European consumer study into attitudes to labelling;
• Simon Stannard from the UK’s permanent presentation to the EU;
• Melanie Leech, FDF’s Director General; and
• Basil Mathioudakis, heat of unit at DGSanco in the European Commission.

The proposed regulation changes are designed to make ingredients in food more transparent in an attempt to aid obesity and food-related disease. They include things like a minimum font size of three millimetres and full lists of additives to be featured on alco-pops. Many manufacturers have said they would prefer a more non-restrictive yet equally effective scheme which they would continue to enter on a voluntary basis.