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Food labelling scheme agreed with retailers to remain voluntary

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 25 October 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e7212
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

The UK government says it is confident all supermarkets will adopt a clearer, front-of-pack food labelling system by the summer of 2013 to help consumers choose healthier products.

But among health experts welcoming the announcement one leading food policy academic criticised the “absurd” decision by ministers to opt for a voluntary scheme.

Tim Lang, professor of food policy at City University London, said that although the new labelling system should “bring some order” out of chaos, action should have been taken long before now to enforce compliance across the food industry.

“For years, nutrition labelling has been a mess but a deliberate mess. Government allowed powerful players in the food industry to resist introducing …

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