Jamie Oliver has come out in favour of Guideline Daily Amounts - The Grocer can reveal - a decision that once again puts him at odds with his employer Sainsbury's.

The advertising face of the supermarket has opted to put front-of-pack GDAs on the labelling for his new food product range. Oliver hopes the 40-strong line of sauces, oils and salads - which as yet only has confirmed listings in Tesco from March - will be worth £16m within two years.

His choice is a major coup for the GDA camp, as Oliver's consumer appeal as a credible and objective authority on the food industry and public health has risen to new heights following his exposé of the chicken industry last month, which included a direct attack on Sainsbury's.

However, Sainsbury's, which pays Oliver millions to front its advertising, is a pioneer of traffic lights, using them throughout its own-label offer in its Wheel of Health.

The launch came in the week that Brussels unveiled a package of measures on labelling that would make the use of GDAs on front of packs mandatory - to the dismay of those backing traffic lights.

EU health commissioner Markos Kyprianou said, after discussing the different schemes at length, it was felt traffic lights "would lead to oversimplification".

The sophistication of the EU consumer should not be underestimated, he said, as people had a good understanding of the food they bought.

However, the proposals do not spell the end for traffic lights, as the new EU labelling rules include a flexible approach that allows colour schemes, so long as they do not "detrimentally affect the visibility and legibility of the mandatory information".

"These schemes will never replace the contents of the new regulation and will never be proposed on a mandatory basis as this would hinder Common Market rules," Kyprianou added.

The proposals now go to the European Council and Parliament and once adopted come into force within three weeks. However, companies will have three years to make changes to packaging before enforcement comes in, with companies with fewer than 10 staff given an extra two years.

The decision to use GDAs on Oliver's range was made purely on the basis of clarity, said Jane Hilton, head of marketing for Fresh Retail Ventures, the company behind the new range and 50%-owned by Oliver.

"Both labelling schemes were looked at, but we decided that GDAs gave clearer information than traffic lights to allow consumers to make a decision."

Sainsbury's refused to comment on Oliver's move . However, a spokeswoman said GDAs had their place, but on back-of-pack labelling.

"When it comes to front-of-pack labelling our view is that multi-traffic-light systems have been frequently proven to be the best, most informative way for people to make at-a-glance decisions on the foods they buy," she said.

The Food Standards Agency said it was encouraged that Oliver recognised the importance of front-of-pack labelling, but stood by its research that traffic lights were the best way to guide shoppers.