Bigger Font Size for Food, Supplement Labeling in EU Not Practical, Says Association

June 10, 2011

The new, minimum font size was proposed by the Council of the European Union.

A new, bigger font size being proposed for text on food and supplement labels is “impractical,” stated the European Federation of Associations of Health Product Manufacturers (EHPM). The new, minimum font size was proposed by the Council of the European Union.

EHPM says the proposed minimum 1.2 mm font size for all food packages (and 0.9 mm for packages with a total surface area less than 60 cm2) would cause food and supplement manufacturers to drastically have to alter their packaging, possibly increasing their size.

“In most cases-the most striking example being multivitamin food supplements-the food supplement sector would need to extend packages and containers in order to place all of the required elements on the label in a legible way,” said EHPM chairman Peter Van Doorn. “This size increase would be detrimental to the environment and contrary to our obligations under the EU packaging regulations.”

The proposal presents other complications, such as with multilingual labels, which are compulsory in some EU member states.

EHPM instead supports a European Parliament-proposed amendment that would require a minimum font size of 0.9 mm for packages or containers with a printable surface area of less than 80 cm2.

“Any general provision requiring mandatory font size where the height is more than 1 mm would be impossible to comply with for the majority of food supplement products,” stated Van Doorn.

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