The government has played down reports that the EU is about to get tough on the food and drinks industry.
The EU commissioner for health and consumer affairs, Markos Kyprianou, has told the industry to stop advertising junk food to children and to improve product labelling within one year. If it fails, the EU would legislate to tackle Europe’s obesity problem, he is reported as saying.
But a UK government spokeswoman denied that new EU legislation on food labelling was imminent. She said Kyprianou would be doing no more than keeping an eye on the industry’s progress.
“We are in consultation with the commission about how to make the system work best, but there is no new legislation for food labelling about to be brought out.
“As for advertising, he is supporting a voluntary code and we agree with this approach. There will only be changes if this doesn’t work - there is no new legislation on the horizon.”
She said the commissioner held up the British government and food industry as an example of best practice.