Alimentation: Lobbies win food labelling war
17 June 2010
The food labelling directive that passed its first reading in the European Parliament on 16 June which stipulates that food labels must plainly indicate the energy content (i.e. kilocalories/kilojoules) and the percentages of fat, carbohydrates and salt. In other words, the MEPs rejected the “traffic light” colour coding – red, amber and green according to how wholesome the food is – recommended by medical associations and organisations to combat obesity, cancer and diabetes. The Euro-deputies opted instead for the system backed by agri-business, which spent a billion euros lobbying them, explains EUObserver.com. La Stampa notes, however, that one of the amendments adopted prohibits ads vaunting the virtues of products that exceed a specified ceiling on fats, sugars and salt, such as Nutella, one of the jewels of the Italian food industry.