BRUSSELS – The European Food Information Council, in collaboration with Landmark Europe, has released its 2012 Global Update on Nutrition Labelling, which provides a useful overview of nutrition labelling trends and developments across the globe.

The report provides a snapshot of global trends in mandatory and voluntary nutrition labelling. Labelling is required in Indonesia, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand, while state-sponsored voluntary guidelines are present in Asian countries including Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand and Japan. China adopted a national standard for mandatory nutrition labelling, to take effect on 1 January 2013.

The report notes that consumer groups, public health NGOs and some governments in Asia Pacific have voiced support for the UK FSA’s traffic light scheme, while Thailand was the first country to introduce mandatory front-of-pack nutrition labels for five snack categories.

According to the report, “The prevailing view in countries with mandatory and voluntary labelling alike is that standardised labels are preferable to a multitude of different nutrition labels. There remains broad disagreement, however, on what format is most effective at influencing consumer behaviour.”

In the meantime, the report states, there is no clear, multi-sector consensus yet on which nutrition labelling scheme is most effective, with the debate expected to continue.

Contact EUFIC for a full copy of the report.