A round-up of articles about front-of-package labels, and the results of a new survey of readers' attitudes on the controversial subject
Food Navigator's "special edition" on front-of-package labeling includes the results of a new survey of readers' attitudes and a round-up of previous articles.
Front-of-pack poll results: No clear winner (except cynicism...): The results of this poll are amusing, not least because they depend -- as always -- on how the questions were asked. Respondents to this one were offered five choices:
- Facts up Front. Consumers don't want to be told what to eat (29 percent picked this one).
- The IOM scheme. Busy shoppers need more guidance (19 percent).
- Other points-based schemes that include positive nutrients, i.e. Guiding Stars (11 percent).
- Traffic-light-type color-coding schemes (about five percent).
- We're kidding ourselves if we think front-of-pack labels will change behavior (36 percent).
This last is tempting. Front-of-package labels, as I keep insisting, are about encouraging sales of one processed food product over another. They have little to do with encouraging healthier food choices.
Front-of-pack labeling in pictures: Healthier choices at a glance or more nutritional wallpaper?: Red lights, green dots, ticks, stars, healthy seals, nutrients to encourage, nutrients of concern, smart choices.... The aim of front-of-pack labels is simple -- to help us make healthier choices (or at least more informed ones) -- fast. But how best to achieve this has prompted a storm of controversy on both sides of the Atlantic....