Food products will not have to carry front-of-pack weight marks after a u-turn by regulators.

The DTI and local authority body Lacors are to amend their interpretation of a new law in the face of complaints from retailers and suppliers that such a requirement would cost the industry millions.

The Weights and Measures (Packaged Goods) Regulations 2006, brought in to meet tougher EU requirements on goods marking, state the weight mark on a product should be "visible in normal conditions of presentation".

The DTI took this to mean the markings should be placed on the front of a container and was backed by Lacors. However, the industry argued that since so many products did not currently carry front-of-pack information, the new rules would mean a considerable number of label changes - with no obvious benefit to the consumer.

At a meeting with trade associations and retailers, the DTI agreed front-of-pack marking was not the only means of complying with the legislation and that back-of-pack weight marking was also acceptable.

"It's a relief common sense has prevailed," said a source at Waitrose. "The cost of changing so many labels would have run into millions."