The proposal, put together by the Evolved Nutrition Labelling Initiative (ENL), seeks to create a single, consistent nutrition labelling scheme across Europe, helping consumers make healthier choices.
The initiative has been launched by the Coca-Cola Company, Mars, Mondelez International, Nestlé, PepsiCo and Unilever, and is an extension of the colour-coded system that was introduced in the UK.
However, the EDA says this ‘selective approach’ does not recognise the importance of nutrient-rich foods, or help consumers to compose a balanced and varied diet.
Alexander Anton, EDA secretary general, said that milk and dairy products are an important part of dietary guidelines and recommendations across the EU, but a traffic light-style system does not reflect this.
“There is seriously something wrong with a scheme where a diet soda drink ranks better than drinking milk,” he added.
The EDA says that the proposed labels would give misleading information to consumers, and thus is not suitable for dairy products.
Instead, the association suggests the introduction of a labelling system that would consider the overall nutritional quality of foods in a more balanced way, such as the Australian Health Star Rating scheme.