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EU Members Have Five Years to Conform to New Food Labels

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EU Members Have Five Years to Conform to New Food Labels

Food companies in the European Union have been given a five-year deadline to adopt new food labeling practices, Packaging Digest reports.

On all food packages and labels, manufacturers must display the "Big 7" nutritional values — energy, fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, sugars, protein and salt — expressed per 100 grams or 100 liters per portion. Food companies have until December 13, 2016 to make the required adjustments.

The European Union's EAS — the organization behind the new food laws — believes the bigger emphasis on nutrition values will encourage consumers to make better food choices. However, it also realizes the law will require food brands to radically alter their packaging.

"The new food labeling regulation means inevitable changes for companies," Xavier Lavigne, food law manager at EAS, told the news source. "The costs of conforming to the mandatory nutrient content rules will most likely hit the smaller food companies more than the larger ones, as many of the larger companies already have some type of nutrition labeling which will simply need to be adapted."

Labeling has been a sticky situation in Europe. For example, Nutella was recently brought to court in Germany for conveying nutritional value in a potentially misleading way.