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Parliamentary questions
1 August 2016
E-006189-16
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 130
Paolo De Castro (S&D) , Elisabetta Gardini (PPE) , Alberto Cirio (PPE) , Clara Eugenia Aguilera García (S&D) , Eric Andrieu (S&D) , Pilar Ayuso (PPE) , Brando Benifei (S&D) , José Blanco López (S&D) , Simona Bonafè (S&D) , Victor Boştinaru (S&D) , Mercedes Bresso (S&D) , Renata Briano (S&D) , Daniel Buda (PPE) , Alain Cadec (PPE) , Nicola Caputo (S&D) , Lorenzo Cesa (PPE) , Caterina Chinnici (S&D) , Salvatore Cicu (PPE) , Sergio Gaetano Cofferati (S&D) , Lara Comi (PPE) , Silvia Costa (S&D) , Andrea Cozzolino (S&D) , Miriam Dalli (S&D) , Viorica Dăncilă (S&D) , Arnaud Danjean (PPE) , Nicola Danti (S&D) , Michel Dantin (PPE) , Luis de Grandes Pascual (PPE) , Angélique Delahaye (PPE) , Isabella De Monte (S&D) , Herbert Dorfmann (PPE) , Raffaele Fitto (ECR) , Iratxe García Pérez (S&D) , Enrico Gasbarra (S&D) , Elena Gentile (S&D) , Michela Giuffrida (S&D) , Françoise Grossetête (PPE) , Sergio Gutiérrez Prieto (S&D) , Esther Herranz García (PPE) , Brice Hortefeux (PPE) , Doru-Claudian Frunzulică (S&D) , Eva Kaili (S&D) , Cécile Kashetu Kyenge (S&D) , Miltiadis Kyrkos (S&D) , Giovanni La Via (PPE) , Constance Le Grip (PPE) , Antonio López-Istúriz White (PPE) , Monica Macovei (ECR) , Fulvio Martusciello (PPE) , Barbara Matera (PPE) , Stefano Maullu (PPE) , Costas Mavrides (S&D) , Marlene Mizzi (S&D) , Luigi Morgano (S&D) , Alessia Maria Mosca (S&D) , Alessandra Mussolini (PPE) , Momchil Nekov (S&D) , Massimo Paolucci (S&D) , Demetris Papadakis (S&D) , Aldo Patriciello (PPE) , Pina Picierno (S&D) , Salvatore Domenico Pogliese (PPE) , Franck Proust (PPE) , Sofia Ribeiro (PPE) , Liliana Rodrigues (S&D) , Fernando Ruas (PPE) , Massimiliano Salini (PPE) , Anne Sander (PPE) , Alfred Sant (S&D) , David-Maria Sassoli (S&D) , Elly Schlein (S&D) , Remo Sernagiotto (ECR) , Ricardo Serrão Santos (S&D) , Ivan Štefanec (PPE) , Patricija Šulin (PPE) , Tibor Szanyi (S&D) , Antonio Tajani (PPE) , Claudiu Ciprian Tănăsescu (S&D) , Marc Tarabella (S&D) , Isabelle Thomas (S&D) , Patrizia Toia (S&D) , Romana Tomc (PPE) , Tokia Saïfi (PPE) , Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso (PPE) , Daniele Viotti (S&D) , Theodoros Zagorakis (PPE) , Pablo Zalba Bidegain (PPE) , Flavio Zanonato (S&D) , Damiano Zoffoli (S&D) , Carlos Zorrinho (S&D) , Milan Zver (PPE)

 Subject:  Influence of traffic-light food labelling on consumers' choices
 Answer(s) 

In June 2013 the United Kingdom Department of Health introduced a voluntary system of food labelling — called traffic-light labelling — which ranks products into three different categories (green, yellow and red) based on the amount of salt, sugar, fat and saturated fat they contain.

A recent study analyses the sales data of a sample of three products involved in this system (Parma ham, Parmigiano Reggiano and French Brie), recorded between 2013 and 2015 by the UK's biggest retailer. While products without traffic-light labelling registered an overall increase in their sales volume, significant declines in sales and losses of market share are particularly evident for the same products in the presence of yellow and, especially, red lights.

These results confirm the influence that the system is able to have on consumers, leading them not to buy products, without providing correct and transparent information on the label.

Given this situation, does the Commission consider it necessary to further explore the findings emerging from the abovementioned study by conducting a global economic and commercial assessment of the impact generated by the use of traffic-light labelling by UK retailers?

Last updated: 18 August 2016Legal notice