> ANSA English > News

Italy to launch fresh attack on UK's food traffic light plan

Supermarkets may rank foods red, green, yellow

19 February, 19:12
Italy to launch fresh attack on UK's food traffic light plan (ANSA) - Brussels, February 19 - Italy is gearing up to launch a new offensive at Thursday's meeting of EU competition ministers in Brussels over Britain's proposal for UK supermarkets to use a 'traffic light' system, which would see food items ranked with red, green or red according to their fat, salt and sugar contents.

Italy is concerned about the repercussions this labelling system could have on its exports, such as its olive oils, salamis and cheeses.

Italy will request the European Union carefully evaluate the effects the proposed U.K. labelling system could have on the "EU market, on industrial competitiveness, on the correct information for consumers, and of the safeguarding of quality brands". The U.K. has always defended its plans, saying they relate to consumers' health and not, as has been indicated, to an attempt to manipulate consumer choices. Thursday's intervention by Italy will mark the third such similar action by the nation, which to date has the backing of some 16 EU member states, including Greece, France, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Croatia and Ireland.