Juiste etiketten op voedingsproducten, zorgen voor een gezonde consumptie

De Europese Groenen vragen dat de informatie op etiketten, in het bijzonder deze gericht op kinderen, juiste informatie bevatten.

Stop dodgy food labelling ruining children's health

Plaid Cymru Deputy Leader Jill Evans MEP is campaigning for tough new rules to stop food manufacturers targeting children with misleading claims about the health benefits of their products.

At present, manufacturers put health and nutritional claims on food voluntarily, and there are no rules governing their use. Euro-MPs meeting in Brussels are reviewing proposals for stricter regulation of food labelling to help prevent misleading claims being put on food. Sixty eight per cent of consumers regularly read food labels and it is important that they can trust the claims and know them to be based on sound science.

The Welsh Euro-MP told this week's meeting of the European Parliament's Environment and Consumer Policy Committee that children's health in particular is at risk from unhealthy diets. Ms Evans now wants new European rules on food labelling to make special provision for foods aimed at children. In particular to force food manufacturers to seek prior approval for any claims about health benefits made in marketing products aimed at children.

Speaking from Brussels, Jill Evans MEP (Plaid Cymru) said:

"With such high levels of obesity and heart disease, it's never been more important to emphasise and promote a healthy diet, particularly to children. That's why certain claims made by some food manufacturers about the apparent health benefits of their products strike such a chord with many parents. Eating habits are often set at a very young age which is why it's so important that parents and young people are able to make an informed choice.

The message about the need to eat a healthy diet is getting across to people, and they do look at labels to assist them. '90% fat free' sounds healthy but it can still mean the product is 10% fat - which is actually higher than most low fat products.

That's why I'm backing new rules to compel food manufacturers to be accurate and transparent in the claims they make about their products - particularly those aimed children. These aren't proposals to stop foods from being made and sold, just to ensure that, where manufacturers choose to make claims, that they are clear and truthful. Food that carries health claims must be healthy."

Notes:

A recent UK Consumers Association survey about foods aimed at children found that:

* Many foods aimed at children are poorer nutritionally than adult versions
* Many foods aimed at children have high salt levels
* Some products labelled 'lunchbox fillers' have misleading labels and limited nutritional information

Recent studies have shown up some disturbing facts about foods aimed at children. Kellogg's Frosties Turbos, for example, contain at least five times as much sugar as Kellogg's Cornflakes, whilst other breakfast products like Nestle Shreddies and Kellogg's X-men 2 contain very high levels of salt.

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