GDAs in Europe
GDA Labelling is gaining increasing popularity among food and drink producers in Europe.
In December 2011 the new EU Regulation 1169/2011 on Food information to
consumers came into force allowing for the continuation of use of percentage of
guideline daily amounts (GDAs) per portion indications on a voluntary basis on
front and back of pack. The new regulation also introduces EU Reference Intake
values (GDAs) for energy, total fat, saturates, carbohydrates, sugars, protein
salt. When displayed on the front-of-pack, %GDAs can only be given for either
energy alone or energy together with the amounts of fat, saturates, sugars and
The new rules on nutrition labelling will become compulsory by December 2014
for companies already displaying nutrition information or by December 2016 if
currently not displaying nutrition information.
Background Information: European legislation impacting GDAs
In June 2006, the Confederation of the Food and Drink Industries (now
FoodDrinkEurope) introduced an EU set of GDAs based on Eurodiet recommendations (pdf, 172kb). The Eurodiet project, funded by the European Commission, provided a framework
for national food-based dietary targets and an action plan for the development
European dietary guidelines.
In 2007 the European Commission published the white paper (pdf, 46kb) on a Strategy for
Europe on Nutrition, Overweight and Obesity-related health issues, which
need for consumers to have access to clear, consistent and evidence-based
information. In this paper the Commission highlighted that nutrition labelling
important tool to inform consumers about the composition of the foods and help
them make an informed choice.
In its consumer policy strategy 2007-2013 the Commission underlined that
allowing consumers to make informed choices was essential both to effective
consumer welfare. As a result, on 30 January 2008 the European Commission
published its proposal for a regulation on Food Information to Consumers (pdf, 312kb).
In November 2012 the new Regulation on Food Information to Consumers is
published in the Official Journal of the EU.
Last reviewed: 11 Oct 2012
What others say
"The widespread adoption of GDA front-of-pack labelling is starting to make
very real difference to the way that food is produced, sold and consumed in
Melanie Leech, Director General, Food and Drink Federation
"With GDA labels I can teach my patients about the importance of portion
and calories for all foods in their diet. With MTL labels I simply cannot"
Nigel Denby, Harley Street Dietitian