LGA says food ‘traffic light’ labelling should be mandatory

The Local Government Association (LGA) has has called on the government to legally compel food manufacturers to include ‘traffic light’ nutrition labels on packages.

The voluntary scheme was initially introduced by the Department of Health in 2013 and involves highlighting food as red, amber, or green, depending on the salt, sugar and fat content. However, around a third of food sold in the UK does not display the colour scheme on packaging.

The news comes after the government’s recently criticised childhood obesity plan said it would examine how nutritional information is displayed on food packaging.

Lizzi Seccombe, chairwoman of the LGA's community wellbeing board, commented: “Consumers need a single, standard and consistent system which should be universally adopted. It needs to be something that they can read and understand quickly and easily.

"The UK is leading the way with its traffic light scheme, which is already widely used, and provides clear, at-a-glance information. It is something many shoppers are familiar with and find helpful.

"But we want the government to go one step further and make it mandatory for all retailers and manufacturers to adopt."