A campaign for voluntary front-of-pack labelling on food products has been recently launched by the Food and Drug Administration and the Philippine Chamber of Food Manufacturers, Inc (Food Chamber).
Being advocated is a shift from the usual practice of putting nutrition facts at the back of the product, which, when the products are stacked in store shelves, can hardly be seen and read.
The program aims to make consumers aware of nutrients found in food through simple, easy to understand and fact-based declaration of a food item’s calorific and energy content.
The newly- prescribed practice will also help consumers to make informed choices on what to consume and consequently adopt a healthier lifestyle, according to PDA director Kenneth Hartigan Go.
The calorie labels will be written on a per-portion basis and expressed as guideline daily amounts or GDA based on national and/or international standards.
According to a recent study by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), five of ten Filipinos do not check food labels before consumption.
About 76.6 of those surveyed, nevertheless, agree that nutrition facts influence their purchasing decision.
The FDA and the Food Chamber will also develop and implement nutrition education programs, conduct research and do multimedia campaigns to encourage consumers to choose a healthy lifestyle.
In July last year, the Food Chamber signed a commitment to partner with the Department of Health (DOH) to deliver workable solutions and implement multifaceted approach to educate consumers on food and nutrition.