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Health Health

Provide clearer food information for consumers

Last updated: 06:31pm 4 May 2019

…and provide clearer food information for consumers, as our decision to leave the European Union will give us greater flexibility over the presentation of information on packaged food.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.72

Our verdict

Current UK regulations on food labelling must be aligned with the standards set by the European Union (EU) in 2011. This includes using a minimum font size to make labels legible, providing allergen, ‘use by’ and nutritional information, and indicating the provenance of fresh meat.

The UK government introduced a colour coding scheme to make nutritional information more intuitive. However, the scheme is not mandatory, and manufacturers can base labelling on outdated nutritional guidelines, which can be confusing for consumers. This policy promises to introduce clearer food information, as the UK  will not be required to follow EU law once it has left the union.

In March 2018, the government published a provisional analysis on returning EU powers, identifying food labelling as one of 24 policy areas which will require a new UK legislative framework. However, since then we have found no evidence that the government is developing a clearer labelling standard for packaged food.

At this stage, we consider this policy ‘not started’. We’ll move it to  ‘in progress’ if the government formalises a new labelling standard and presents it to Parliament. Follow this policy for updates.

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