Friday, February 1, 2008

EU Health Chief Angers Industry over Labelling

“The European Union's health chief overcame intense industry pressure on Wednesday to propose stricter food labelling rules that aim to halt Europe's rising levels of obesity. Despite huge political opposition and lobbying by food and drink multinationals, EU Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou forged ahead with plans to require companies to detail energy, sugar, salt, fat and saturates on the front of the packages. ‘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,’ Kyprianou told a news conference. ‘Confusing, overloaded or misleading labels can be more of a hindrance than a help to the consumer," he said. According to the World Health Organisation, obesity has more than trebled in most EU countries since the 1980s with the number of obese or overweight children in the bloc rising from 14 million in 2005 to 22 million in 2007.”

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