In a landmark move, the UK has begun legislating uniform front-of-label packaging for foods. Voluntary at this point, the labeling will require color-coded text that shows how much fat, sugar, salt, and calories are in the product. The ‘traffic light’ color scheme puts the words “low” on a green background, “medium” on yellow, and “high” on red, appropriately accompanying the numerical value. This model allows for at-a-glance product literacy and has been hailed by the anti-obesity and children’s consumer advocacy groups that initially pushed for such legislation. While many major retailers have gotten a jump on the labeling process, Coca-Cola and Cadbury have refrained, releasing statements that they feel the prior “daily guideline” system is better. Additionally, the European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises has responded with a letter to the Brussels Competitiveness Council saying this labeling system will “seriously hinder the free movement within the European internal market.” Their concern is that it will be especially damaging to small and medium-sized enterprises.
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