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Russia Plans European-Style 'Traffic-Light' Food Labels

Russian consumers could soon see European-style “traffic-light labeling” on their food, the Interfax news agency reported Friday.

The system color-codes food with red, yellow or green labels depending on its nutritional value. The amount of salt, fat, sugar, and overall calories in each product is usually ranked separately, along with the amount as a percentage of an adult's daily intake. In Britain, a product will be marked as red if it contains more than 5 grams of fat, more than 22.5 grams of sugar, or more than 1.5g of salt per 100g.

Anna Popova, head of Russian consumer watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, said that she hoped the plans would encourage buyers and manufacturers to make healthier choices.

"In every country we've seen this system implemented, it really works: not just because ordinary people find it easier to make healthy choices, but because manufacturers know that reducing the number of 'red labels' on their products is a serious marketing ploy,” Popova said.

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