Health Authorities in Ecuador highlight decrease of sugar, fat and salt in food due to new labelling

The new labelling system uses a graphic that looks like a traffic light to determine levels of sugar, fat and salt. Photo: File/Andes

Quito, Dic. 2 (Andes).- Ecuadorian Health Minister Carina Vance, noted Tuesday that more than 20% large and medium enterprises have decreased the amount of sugar, fat and salt in their products, following the implementation of the new system of labeling alerts on foods and beverages.

"Over 20% of large and medium food industries have reported a reduction of at least one product having the component of sugar, fat or salt, to have at least one product that does not carry the red label," she said in a conference press.
This color indicates high levels of a component in new labels that simulate a traffic light. Red is high, yellow is medium green, low in sugar, fat or salt.
In this context, Vance noted that these components contribute to chronic diseases which currently affect a large number of the population such as, diabetes andhypertension.
The minister also explained that the Ministry issued a ministerial agreement granting an extra term for large, medium, small and micro-enterprises to exhaust products (whcih do not have the new labeling yet) on display, as long as the expiration date is later than November 29, limit for implementing the new system.
In that regard, she recalled that the new policy has been beneficial to the public and contains information in order to decide what kind of food you wish to eat. "So much so that internationally, we have received several requests from various countries to cooperate, in the process of labeling regulations," said the official.
She also said that in October this year the Pan American Health Organization, attended by health ministers from across the continent, issued a resolution to combat obesity, which includes implementing a labeling system similar to that in Ecuador.
"The Ecuadorian system is used as an example, which can facilitate access to information for citizens," Vance said.
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