New food labels dished up to keep Europe healthy

Jul 06, 2011

A groundbreaking deal on compulsory new food labels Wednesday is set to give Europeans clear information on the nutritional and energy content of products, as well as country of origin.

After years of debate, the European parliament approved legislation to harmonize compulsory data, including use-by dates and nutritional information key in the battle to fight mounting obesity.

Within five years, labels on will have to spell out along with fat, saturated fat, carbohydrate, sugar, protein and salt levels -- all expressed per 100g or 100 ml.

With a minimum font size of 1.2 mm, the labels will be easy to read, and 14 recognised allergens will be highlighted in bold in all lists of ingredients.

Existing country-of-origin regulations, now required for beef, honey, olive oil and fresh fruit and vegetables, will be extended to fresh meat from pigs, sheep, goat and poultry.

Fake foods -- such as cheese lookalikes actually made from vegetable oils and water and hardly any milk -- will also be clearly labelled, with the cheese tagged "made of vegetable oil".

Likewise meat or fish consisting of meat or fish parts will be labelled "formed meat" or "formed fish" in fonts 75 percent the size of the brand name.

"If a yoghurt has a picture of fruit on it, it will have to contain fruit and not merely aromas or colouring substances," said rapporteur Renate Sommer, a German conservative MEP.

In three years the European Commission will look at whether to add "" associated with and heart disease and add listed ingredients to alcohols.

Explore further: CDC charges Johns Hopkins to lead development of Ebola training module

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

The Medical Minute: Heart-healthy eating over the summer

Jun 27, 2011

Summer is here. With it comes hotter temperatures, longer daylight, vacations, backyard grilling, and picnics. Think it’s too hard to maintain heart healthy eating habits at the neighborhood picnic? Use the 10 tips below ...

Meat and Meat Products as Functional Foods

Jun 10, 2009

Research on the disease-preventing, health-promoting benefits of meat and meat products makes them a viable contender in the functional food arena. Enriching meats with fiber, probiotics and omega-3 fatty acids may help consumers ...

Recommended for you

Study reveals state of crisis in Canadian foster care system

Oct 24, 2014

A new study of foster care in Canada led by a researcher at Western University reveals a shrinking number of foster care providers are available across the country to care for a growing number of children with increasingly ...

Researchers prove the benefits of persimmons for diet

Oct 24, 2014

Alba Mir and Ana Domingo, researchers from the Department of Analytical Chemistry of the University of Valencia, under the supervision of professors Miguel de la Guardia and Maria Luisa Cervera, from the same department, ...

Hand blenders used for cooking can emit persistent chemicals

Oct 24, 2014

Eight out of twelve tested models of hand blenders are leaking chlorinated paraffins when used according to the suppliers' instructions. This is revealed in a report from Stockholm University where researchers analyzed a ...

User comments : 0