Colombo, March 18 (newsin.asia) – Sri Lanka’s Health Minister, Rajitha Senaratne, on Monday said health authorities would, introduce a color code system for packaged food, indicating the levels of sugar, fat and salt content, from April in order to prevent the spread of non communicable diseases in the country.
Senaratne said the high use of sugar, salt and fat was causing many non communicable diseases including cancer and since 2018 the Health Ministry had begun gathering data and conducting discussions with local biscuit and sweets manufacturers in a bid to introduce the color code system.
“There are a large number of biscuit and sweets manufacturers in Sri Lanka and they sell over 80,000 tonnes in the country. We need to reduce the use of sugar in these products. Since a number of biscuit manufacturers export their products to around 55 countries, they agreed to introduce a color coding scheme that is internationally accepted,” Senaratne said.
He added that in 2016, the Health Ministry had introduced a ‘Traffic Light Labeling System’ (color coding) on soft drinks and after that soft drink companies had reduced the use of sugar by 10 percent in their products.
“We think we can replicate that success here as well,” Senaratne said.
According to the 2016 regulations, drinks that contain more than 11 grams of sugar per 100 milliliters of a drink should be indicated with a red mark and if the sugar content was less than two grams it should be indicated with a green mark. Sugar content between these two amounts should be indicated in amber.