Some manufacturers in the United Kingdom have been voluntarily implementing a "traffic light" system on their food labeling. These images highlight information from the nutrition facts label, indicating the levels of fat, sugar and sodium with red, orange or green. For instance, a food product with low sodium will show green for sodium on the icon, while a product with high fat will show red. This method of food labeling helps consumers see which products have higher levels of unhealthy ingredients.
Liz Newmark of Global Meat News reports that seven European Union nations have presented their concerns to the European Commission. The governments of Greece, Italy, Cyprus, Portugal, Spain, Romania and Slovenia have stated their opposition to classifying a product as simply healthy or unhealthy, based on three colors.
The European Commission will rule on whether to allow U.K. exports to feature the traffic light labels in other European countries. Representatives from the seven nations fear that if British products present nutrition facts in this way, they might be pressured to do the same with their own food labeling.
While the governments of the seven nations feel that focusing on the amount of a single ingredient is not an effective way to promote a healthy lifestyle, U.K. officials called it "a clear and consistent system to make healthier choices easier," according to Newmark.
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