Thank you for contacting me about food labelling and the campaign by Diabetes UK.
I would like to commend the work done by Diabetes UK. For many years this charity has campaigned to raise awareness of the symptoms and causes of diabetes, which has been of immense value to those with diabetes, who often need support and guidance in managing their condition.
I understand, the Government has not had any recent discussions with the food and drinks industry about food labelling on pre-packaged foods or food sold in restaurants, cafes or takeaways. There are already mandatory requirements for nutrient labels on pre-packaged foods and I am happy to say that the food and drink industry itself is making significant progress to improve food labels and introduce clear nutritional labels on the front of packages. So far, around two-thirds of pre-packaged food and drinks on the market have front of pack nutritional labels and around a quarter of food consumed outside the home have calorie labels at the point of sale, such as cafe menus.
At present the Government has made no central assessment of the merits of introducing mandatory dietary guidelines or labels on fast food packaging. However once the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, we will have greater flexibility over what information should be presented of packaged food and how it should be displayed. I believe the current growth of nutritional labels on food has been a great success and I hope you are pleased to know that the Government has suggested the possibility of introducing clearer, visual labels, such as teaspoons of sugar to help people make healthy choices in their shopping.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.