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Australia: ‘Traffic-light’ food labelling essential

Traffic-light food labels

A letter to the Australian Medical Journal argues the case for a traffic-light system for labelling food and shows how it would work.

Having red, orange or green ‘traffic-lights’ on labels would help food shoppers. They would be able see at a glance whether a food was high in fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt and not have to read the fine print.

The writers say that this system is more likely to change food shopping behaviour. It should be mandatory, and replace industry-sponsored schemes.

Read the letter: Medical Journal of Australia, 1 Jan 2007

FOE NOTES

Our submission to the Health Select Inquiry into Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes recommends introducing a compulsory ‘traffic light’ food labelling system into New Zealand. This would indicate immediately and easily the extent to which individual food products should be part of a healthy diet.

The British experience shows that a voluntary system is likely to be ineffective.

Published on January 1, 2007 in Australian news