LONDON – The United Kingdom is enacting stronger labeling rules for food and beverages that will require manufacturers "to bring in clearer and more honest food labeling on the country of origin of meat, allergen advice and whether the product contains palm oil.”

The regulations were created by the European Union. The rules will ensure:

• consumers are told where their meat is from by providing Country of Origin Labeling (subject to Commission rules);

• information is written in font size that is easy to read on labels;

• food containing nanomaterial ingredients state that clearly on the label; and

• businesses state the plant origin of the oil in the product, for example palm oil.

“The government is tightening up rules to make it easier for shoppers to make more informed decisions for themselves and their families at the tills," said Farming Minister David Heath. “We fought long and hard in Europe for more honest labeling so that people can make up their own minds about what they eat.
“We are making it easier for consumers to know what’s in the food and drink that they buy, while at the same time cutting red tape for businesses,” he added.

The government said costs will be kept to a minimum by allowing industry a reasonable period of time to implement the changes. Manufacturers are not required to immediately re-label products to comply with the law. Rather, businesses can absorb the legislative requirements into their planned re-labeling cycle.