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• The Coalition Government announced on 20 July 2010 that the Food Standards Agency (FSA) would be retained, with a renewed focus on safety. The Department of Health will become responsible for nutrition policy in England, and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will become responsible for Country of Origin Labelling, and various other non-safety-related food labelling and food composition policies in England.

• FSA supported the so-called Traffic Light System favoured by some retailers, under which foods high in fat, sugar and salt are given a red label, medium foods an orange label and low foods a green label.

• Some manufacturers and retailers have adopted a rival scheme, using Guideline Daily Amounts (GDAs), which take account of the fact that some foods form only a small part of the diet. The label shows the fat, sugar, salt etc compared to the amount that a consumer is recommended to have each day.

• The UK Government favours GDA.

• The EU Food Information regulations 2011 will come into force in 2015, requiring some mandatory nutritional information. There is scope for introducing a voluntary GDA scheme.

• The Coalition Government wants the food industry to fund the Change4life campaign, in return for the Government adopting a non-regulatory approach. The Public Health Responsibility Deal, 2011, included out of home calorie labelling.

• A study argues that nutritional information does not affect what people actually buy.


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