In the first such decision made in the UK, the appeal court upheld the requirement to label food products in English. The case is the first time these issues have been brought before a higher court and set an important precedent.
Last year Hackney LBC was unsuccessful in its attempts to prosecute an importer/wholesaler (who has now gone out of business) for selling soft drinks labelled entirely in a foreign language. Hackney LBC's appeal of this decision was heard by the court on April 21, 1999.
Richard Robinson, Hackney's principal environmental health officer, said: 'This is a major victory for the consumer. People have a right to know what is in the food they are eating. Our role is to enforce food law in the borough, through advice or legal action as necessary.
Geoff Wadds, acting director, Britsh Soft Drinks Association, said: 'I hope this ruling will underline the message already circulated to wholesalers and retailers that supplying these products is an offence and that other local authorities will be encouraged to take action, like Hackney, to ensure legal compliance.'