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ESC supports traffic light food labeling vote
Date:6/16/2010

Sophia Antipolis, 16 June 2010: The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) http://www.escardio.org/ and its branch, the European Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation (EACPR) http://www.escardio.org/communities/EACPR/Pages/welcome.aspx are joining forces with 12 other European Health and consumer communities to urge MEPs to vote in favour of a traffic light system for food labelling today.

"If MEPs vote against the traffic light system they will be failing the next generation. Widespread introduction of the system would enable people in Europe to make informed choices about eating healthily. That would make a significant contribution to reducing the toll of cardiovascular disease. The plain facts are that four out of five cases of heart disease are directly related to diet, physical activity and smoking," said ESC spokesperson Joep Perk, from the School of Health and Caring Sciences at Linnaeus University (Sweden). A vote against the traffic light system, he adds, would give out the message to society that European politicians are hand in glove with the food industry.

In 2008, the European Commission proposed new legislation on providing food information to consumers. The idea behind traffic light labelling is simple: consumers deserve clear information about the key nutrients in food. Traffic light labels use colours (red, orange and green) to signal whether products contain high, medium or low levels of the harmful nutrients. The actual levels of these nutrients (salt, fat, saturated fat, and sugars) in every product are also given in absolute grams per 100-gram (or 100 millilitre).

Sadly, on 16 March 2010, the European Parliament's environment, public health and food safety committee voted against the introduction of a mandatory "traffic-light" labelling system. Regulation, they said, should lay down general rules on how information should be displayed, which would allow different countries to keep or adopt n
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Contact: ESC Press Office
press@escardio.org
33-049-294-8627
European Society of Cardiology
Source:Eurekalert

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