Industry applauds food labelling vote
Food industry delight at vote on traffic light labelling schemeConsumer organisations reacted with great disappointment to MEPs' rejection of the traffic light labelling system, in the 17 June vote. CIAA, the food and drinks industry lobby, was generally satisfied with the vote. It criticised CEO's report on food labelling and even denies being a lobbying organisation. See our update: High time for CIAA to come clean on its lobbying
The vote meant a rejection of the proposed 'traffic light labelling system'. Instead processed foods will have a label on the front of packaging indicating the energy, salt, sugar, fat and saturated fat in the contents, alongside guideline daily amounts (GDAs), the industry-preferred labelling system. BEUC, the European Consumers Organisation, said that "There is no doubt that today's vote is a very, very serious setback". The CIAA was generally happy, only being concerned about the introduction of country of origin labelling for more products. MEPs Carl Schlyter and Kartika Liotard heavily criticised the industry lobbying on this issue. Schlyter said: "Parliament followed the industry's lobbying efforts and even enlarged the exemption for alcohol at the request of the European People's Party, even though alcohol is also a food with a high calorie content, of which most consumers are not aware". Liotard asked: "How can you be in favour of clear labelling and colour-coded systems for home energy, cars and electronics and not for food and drink?"(Source: Euractiv). MEPs did vote for mandatory labelling of trans-fats, foods containing nano-particles and appetite-enhancing substances, and sweeteners to be indicated on the front of the package.