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 However, the scheme is not mandatory, and manufacturers can base labelling on outdated nutritional guidelines, which can be confusing for consumers.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.
Want the detail?
- Packaging and labelling – Food Standards Agency
- Food information to consumers – legislation – European Commission
- Food labels – NHS
- Which? calls on government to fix food labelling ‘chaos’ – BBC News
- UK government publishes analysis on returning EU powers – Gov.uk
- EU facts behind the claims: regulation and the single market – Full Fact
- Podcast: What does Brexit mean for food labelling? – IEG Policy
- NHS chief urges tougher food labelling post-Brexit to tackle obesity – Daily Mail
- Leaving the EU: Food Safety – House of Lords Library