Consumer wants clear food labels, not a forest of statistics

19 February 2009

Consumer wants clear food labels, not a forest of statistics

"I'd rather just wait for the arrival of clear food labels. It makes no sense to rush this through just because there's an election coming. That will simply mean that the consumer is once again saddled with incomprehensible food labels which are of no help in making informed choices."

Kartika LiotardConsultation

This was SP Euro-MP Kartika Liotard's reaction to the outcome of an internal consultative meeting between Members of the European Parliament concerned with food issues. For the Sommer Report on food labelling, to be debated shortly in Brussels, a total of 1,200 amendments have been presented. "You can't rush decisions on this," says Liotard. "We'll soon reach a point where the consumer understands nothing from the labels."

Fine stories

"I have the impression that a lot of politicians are only interested in being able to go into the elections in June armed with lots of fine stories about what they have all been doing about food safety," Liotard adds. "The SP does not play such games. It is not the interests of the industry, but those of the consumer which must be central here. We don't want a forest of statistics giving details of the ingredients of a packet or can. What is needed is a clear symbol. On 10th March discussion will continue between the different political groups in an attempt to find a compromise. If no agreement can be reached, the matter will be raised again after the elections."

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