Cover: Assessing the impact of revisions to the EU nutrition labelling legislation

Assessing the impact of revisions to the EU nutrition labelling legislation

Published Feb 1, 2008

by Lila Rabinovich, Jan Tiessen, Flavia Tsang, Christian Van Stolk

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Numerous studies suggest that there is a strong link between nutrition and health, and that deficient nutrition is a contributing factor to a number of non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In the last 20 years, growing concerns in the European Union with the increasing prevalence of these conditions have led the Commission to develop a set of rules regarding food labelling which aimed to provide consumers with the necessary information to make informed decisions about their dietary options. Directive 90/496/EEC on nutrition labelling for foodstuffs, in place since 1990, has been the key instrument for informing consumers of the nutritional value of products. However, an extensive stakeholder consultation conducted recently by the Commission revealed that there is widespread agreement that the effectiveness of the Directive, and by extension the practice of nutrition labelling, could be much improved. The European Commission (EC) is currently considering a revision of its food nutrition labelling legislation. In this context, the EC DG SANCO commissioned RAND Europe to conduct an assessment of the economic, social and environmental impacts of each of the proposed policy alternatives, paying particular attention to how these alternatives would affect the strategic goals of the Commission and key stakeholders in this process. This report presents the findings from this research.

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The research described in this report was prepared for the European Commission and conducted by RAND Europe.

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