Five-a-day standardisation urged to clarify message

Food manufacturers are free to make claims that processed foods of dubious nutritional value constitute one of consumers' recommended five-a-day portions of fruit and vegetables, according to a Dispatches report shown last week on Channel 4.

The programme claimed that a lack of standardisation in the Government-backed scheme left manufacturers able to make spurious claims and devise their own five-a-day logos rather than use the official logo managed by the Department of Health, reserved for foods that meet minimum nutritional standards.

"It is time that the Government sorted out this confusion," said Fresh Produce Consortium chief executive Nigel Jenney.

"5 A Day must return to its core principles to avoid misleading the public about the nutritional content of their food basket," he added.

"The Government must do more to encourage people to enjoy the benefits of affordable fresh fruit and vegetables."

Currently, only one person in four in the UK eats the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

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