EAEU: “Traffic lights” for food packaging

The heads of designated food safety authorities of the EAEU member states have met as a Council and discussed the possibility to introduce colour-coded food labelling.

Currently, the main instrument regulating food labelling is Technical Regulation on Food Labelling. It sets out requirements to indicate product name, its composition, storage conditions, shelf-life and other information that enables the consumer to make an informed choice.

However, in order to further simplify product identification, Russia has suggested to place on food packaging visible stripes in red, green and yellow colour. These colours will indicate the contents of substances, such as fat, salt and sugar, the excessive consumption of which is harmful to human health. In this case, if a consumer sees a red stripe on a product packaging, he or she will immediately know that the product contains high concentration of harmful ingredients, if the stripe is yellow, then harmful ingredients are in moderation and if the stripe is green – this means that the concentration of harmful ingredients is low. There will be no need for a consumer to read the small print on the packaging in order to identify how much sodium, sugar or fat the product contains.

The Council has agreed to commence developing the necessary recommendations almost immediately – during November and December 2017.