Food Firms Spend Millions to Block Food Health Warning Labels

The food industry spent more than a billion dollars in its successful campaign to defeat a European labeling plan designed to make it easy for consumers to identify healthy and less healthy food options.

Under the proposed “traffic light” plan, which has already been adopted by some European supermarkets, foods would be marked with a series of prominent green, yellow or red circles representing different key nutrients. A red light would mean that the product should be consumed only occasionally, a yellow light would mean the product could safely be consumed in moderation, and a green light would mean the product was good to consume in quantity.

Concerned that such a plan would turn consumers away from sugary drinks, salty snacks and other foods labeled with a number of “red lights,” the food industry poured