An independent study commissioned by the FSA to evaluate front-of-pack labelling (FOP) in the UK found that shoppers would benefit from a single scheme and that the most effective label in terms of consumer comprehension and preference includes the words ‘high, medium and low', traffic-light colours and percentage of Guideline Daily Amount (GDA).
The majority of food companies oppose the traffic-light system and prefer GDAs, and were largely dismissive of the survey. Health lobby organisations, which mostly favour traffic-light colour coding, said the survey supports their beliefs.
The consultation is intended to gather views on the practical issues that need to be resolved for an integrated FOP approach to be established that would combine these three elements, work in real-life settings and help consumers make healthier choices.
It also seeks views on the related costs and benefits, as identified in the draft impact assessment.
The consultation lasts for 14 weeks. Its findings will be discussed further by the agency board before it makes recommendations to ministers.