Industry heavyweights push GDA labels in France

By Chris Mercer

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition

Big hitters in the food industry, including Danone, Unilever,
Nestle and Coca-Cola, have announced they plan to roll out a
nutrition labelling system based on Guideline Daily Amounts in
France.

The system, already favoured by many in the UK food industry, will be progressively introduced on food and drink labels in France from this spring, announced the group of 10 multinationals, also including Kellogg's, Masterfoods, Kraft Foods and PepsiCo. News of the spread of Guideline Daily Amounts (GDA) as the industry's designated labelling system may raise the stakes on nutrition labelling in Europe. Debate has been raging in the UK over the best way to inform consumers about the nutritional content of their food, as part of the battle against rising obesity rates. Industry there has already pitted itself against the country's food regulator, the Food Standards Agency (FSA), by persisting with a GDA system for calories, sugar, fat and salt. The FSA wants food firms to use a traffic light labelling system that would indicate high fat, salt and sugar content in foods with a red (high), amber (medium) and green (low) mark on packs. Bruno Luisetti, spokesperson for the group of 10 multinationls in France, said GDAs were simple and easy to understand. "Consumers must have the choice to build a balanced diet that works for them, meeting their needs, tastes and lifestyle."​ He added the 10 firms believed GDAs on labels represented a real step forward for consumers. Critics will say the move shows how the industry has attempted to take the lead on nutrition labelling in the EU, without waiting for official advice from authorities. The UK FSA has said previously it wanted its traffic light system to be considered as a model that could be applied across the EU member states.

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