Food Labelling Review - mostly healthy but missing a few key ingredients

CHOICE says that the recommendations from the independent food labelling panel are a win for consumers who want to make healthy choices.

The people's watchdog now calls on the government and industry to step up to the plate, to accept these recommendations and implement them without delay.

CHOICE has been campaigning for a traffic light nutrition labelling system for many years and is pleased that the panel endorses the scheme. But to make a real difference the system must be mandatory.

"CHOICE members and consumers tell us that clear and concise information is key to making healthy choices and our own consumer research shows that traffic light labelling can make a real difference," says Clare Hughes, CHOICE Senior Food Policy Advisor.

Other recommendations welcomed  by CHOICE include:

  • the proposal that unhealthy foods should no longer carry claims about health benefits
  • some alcoholic beverages must disclose energy content and list ingredients
  • palm oil must be identified in ingredients lists and the listing of fibre content to nutrition panels

However some of CHOICE's key demands have not been met.

Loopholes that allow foods to contain highly refined, genetically modified ingredients without labelling have not been closed and terms such as 'organic' and 'free range' remain in the hands of industry self-regulation.

"The review panel has recognised the crucial role of food labelling in helping consumers make healthy choices.  However they have fallen short of meeting consumers' need for trustworthy labels that give them confidence in what they are buying and how it has been produced," says Ms Hughes.

  Media Contact:

  • Clare Hughes, CHOICE Senior Food Policy Advisor 0416 085 188
  • Ingrid Just, CHOICE Spokesperson 0430 172 669

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