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EU food labeling proposal draws criticism.

The EU's battle over new nutritional food labeling requirements has intensified as European food industry and consumer groups press their opposing viewpoints on the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers to modify a Jan. 30 proposal by the European Commission. The Bureau of National Affairs reports that the EU executive body's legislative initiative was made as part of its drive to reduce obesity in Europe, especially among children. The main thrust of the legislative proposal would require a list of six nutrients on the front of all processed food and drink products. Those include: calories, total fat, saturated fats, carbohydrates, sugar, and salt.

"Food labels can have a huge influence on consumer's purchasing decisions," said EU health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou. "Confusing, overloaded or misleading labels can be more of a hindrance than a help to the consumer. Today's proposal aims to ensure that food labels carry the essential information in a clear and legible way, so that EU citizens are empowered to make balanced dietary choices."

Groups such as the Confederation of Food and Drink Industries insisted that the Commission plan is "unworkable" and too expensive, while the European Consumers' Organization contended the requirements do not go far enough to ensure a clear, EU-wide scheme that will have the intended effect of improving dietary habits. Both groups issued their initial statements opposing the initiative Jan. 31
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Publication:Food & Drink Weekly
Date:Feb 11, 2008
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