Nearly 100 members of the European Parliament (Meps) have signed a written question to the European Commission demanding an investigation into the impact of the Uk’s “traffic light” nutritional label, arguing it gives consumers incorrect information.
The Meps refer to the system which uses green, yellow and red panels to indicate the amount of sugar, salt, fat and saturated fat in foods and drinks.
Referring to the study presented by the Italian Government earlier in the year, the Meps say the discriminatory impact is shown by the sales data for 2013-15 of the Uk’s biggest retailer for Parma ham, Parmigiano Reggiano and French Brie.
«While products without traffic light labelling registered an overall increase in sales volume, significant declines in sales and losses of market share are particularly evident for the same products in the presence of yellow, and, especially red, lights».
The Meps – from the centre-right Epp, Socialist and European Conservative (Ecr) groupings – say the results «confirm the influence that the system is able to have on consumers, leading them not to buy products, without providing correct and transparent information on the label».
The Meps call on the Commission to «further explore the findings» of the study «by conducting a global economic and commercial assessment of the impact generated by the use of traffic light labelling UK retailers».
The Meps include the Italian former Agriculture Committee chair, Paolo de Castro (Socialist), as well as fellow Italian, Elisabetta Gardini (Epp), who has criticised traffic lights in debates in the Parliament. The Spanish Mep, Pilar Ayuso (Epp), has also signed.