look at food.
Consumers will be able to see the actual percentage amounts of
various ingredients used in foods clearly stated on the label.
labelling that will be compulsory for all member states by the year
2000. The draft UK regulations are out for public consultation now.
Food safety minister Jeff Rooker said:
'This will be one of the most important changes to our labelling laws
'Stating actual quantities of the major ingredients used will make a
huge difference to the way people look at labels on various food
'It is a major step forward in giving consumers real power to make
informed choices about the products they buy.'
The draft regulations and guidance notes have already been sent to
over 650 organisations and individuals for comment. The government
is also inviting comments from the wider public.
The public can obtain copies from: Keith Gregory, MAFF, Room 325D,
Ergon House, c/o Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR.
Or telephone 0171 238 6254 or fax 0171 238 6763.
The changes being implemented by the UK regulations will:
Require the quantities of certain ingredients to be stated on the
label; Clarify the marketing rules for foods brought in from other
member states or from the EEA; Emphasise that labels must use the
names prescribed in EC law; Reduce the number of single ingredient
foods exempt from ingredient listing; and Require ingredients
identified as 'starch' or 'modified starch' to indicate their
specific vegetable origin if they are likely to contain gluten.
The UK Government is also taking this opportunity to make a number of
other changes to the Food Labelling Regulations 1996 to:
Make clear that labelling exemptions for food brought into the UK
from other EU or EEA states apply only if the requirements of the
food labelling directive and other relevant directives are met;
Adjust the rules for calculating the percentage of milk fat in cream
so that added ingredients, such as alcohol, are excluded; and Require
foods claiming to be reduced or low energy to carry nutrition
1. Directive 97/4/EC of the European Parliament and the Council,
which amends Directive 79/112/EEC on food labelling, was adopted on
27 January 1997.
2. Member states must permit trade in products conforming to the new
requirements by 14 August 1998. Trade in products which do not
conform to the new requirements will be prohibited from 14 February
3. Consultation on the draft implementing regulations closes on
19 November 1997. Consultation on the draft guidance notes closes on
31 October 1997.