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Health and nutrition labels for consumer information, not marketing ploys


02 Feb 2012


Agriculture & Food
Health & Consumers

- Commission slated in role as ad agency for food industry

Welcoming the European Parliament's veto of Commission plans to allow misleading health claims on food such as "15% less fat", the GUE/NGL's Kartika Liotard said MEPs had voted in the interests of consumers against deceitful marketing ploys.

"Such claims are useful marketing tools but a bag of crisps with '15% less fat' could still contain a lot of fat. Furthermore, it is a lot easier to reduce fat and sugar levels by a few percentages in products that have extremely high levels at the outset. Manufacturers' unhealthiest food products would thus be rewarded."

Claims such as 'Light' and 'Reduced' may appear on a product, but for this there must be at least 30% less sugar or fat in it. 25% less salt is also sufficient for a "Reduced" claim. "If such values ​ ​have been reduced so substantially, it is good that the consumer is informed" says Liotard.

Manufacturers had complained about the current rules and waged a strong lobby for looser rules, like the so-called "x% less claim". They argue that it is too difficult to reduce values ​​by thirty percent. "But nutrition and health claims are intended to inform consumers, not for marketing," says Liotard. "Instead of so much energy being put into advertising slogans, manufacturers should just make their products healthier."

GUE/NGL Press Contacts:

David Lundy +32 485 50 58 12

Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20

European United Left / Nordic Green Left

European Parliamentary Group 


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