Israel to mark healthy food with green stickers starting January

Source:Xinhua Published: 2019/11/27 10:18:40

Customers flock to the payment counters at a supermarket in Israel. Photo: IC

Healthy food sold in Israel will be marked with green stickers starting from January 2020, Israeli Ministry of Health announced on Sunday.

The marking will be carried out by food manufacturers, importers, and marketers, and food that cannot be labeled will be marked by a green sign posted next to it.

According to the announcement, the purpose of green labeling is to assist consumers in choosing food that fits the principles of healthy nutrition as recommended in Israel.

The conditions for inclusion in healthy food groups are based on minimal processing and avoidance of harmful substances such as excess saturated fat, sugar, and salt, per the decisions of a scientific committee appointed by the ministry.

Accordingly, products that may be marked are milk, white cheese, and yogurt with up to 5 percent fat, including tofu, olive oil, whole wheat pasta, raw fish, and fresh eggs among others.

The green mark, which will be voluntary in the first phase, joins a previous decision by the ministry, requiring the red marking of unhealthy products starting January as well.

These are foods with a high amount of saturated fat, sugar, and sodium.

Besides, Israeli food manufacturers will be required to change the nutrition facts lists on the packaging so that components such as sodium and fat appear ahead of protein, and that the sugar amount will include "translation" for the number of spoons.

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