Todd Stitzer, chief executive of Cadbury Schweppes, has attacked the idea of a traffic light system for food labelling.

Stitzer said: “There’s a presumption in schemes such as traffic lights that there is a good and bad. Just to say that we have to make it simple for people because they can’t figure it out is from my perspective a cop-out.”

His comments come just a day after Tesco announced that it was abandoning its plan to introduce such a system for its own-label products.