The science behind GDA labels is robust

Joanne Denney-Finch Chief executive, IGD Sir; Channel 4's Dispatches programme The Truth About Your Food questioned the science underpinning the use of Guideline Daily Amounts for food labelling and IGD's role in their development. There remains a lively debate about the best way to present nutritional information to consumers but it would be very unfortunate if the science underlying all of the approaches became unnecessarily undermined. IGD developed GDAs for use on backs of packs in 1998. They were based on consumer demand for more and clearer information drawn from 2,000 hours of interviews. They were developed collaboratively with nutrition scientists, government and consumer organisations as well as with industry. The GDA values are derived from government recommendations on nutritional intake and were developed in a methodical way. IGD reviewed and extended the GDAs between 2003 and 2005 and this included a review of the most appropriate dietary recommendations and an additional 1,000 hours of consumer research. We continue to monitor the latest dietary recommendations to ensure that GDA values are based on the best information available. The same recommendations continue to underpin nutritional advice from government, including the FSA's advice for traffic-light labelling. Your readers should remain confident that the underlying science behind GDAs and all other forms of nutrition labelling in the UK is current, robust and transparent.