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GCC Standardization Organisation (GSO) and Choices International Foundation Start Working Together on Healthier Food Policies

January 31st, 2019

Riyadh / The Hague, 31 January 2019 – Stimulation of healthy diets has become an urgent matter, as the prevalence of food-related non-communicable diseases and obesity has been dramatically increasing over the last two decades. Therefore, the GCC Standardization Organization (GSO) and the Choices International Foundation have agreed to cooperate to foster healthier food choices in the GCC region in cooperation with GSO Member States.

Both organisations agree on the importance of high-quality standards for healthy food that reflect current science and regulatory practice. Such standards are essential for implementing governmental health policies, for creating a level playing field for the food industry to develop and market healthier products and for enforcing consumer confidence in the quality of the food products they buy.

Consequently, the first objective for the collaboration is to establish customized voluntary standards for healthy food, that can be used by food & health authorities and food companies in the region.

As the need for reliable information about healthy food is rapidly increasing among health professionals and experts working for governments in the GCC area, CSO and Choices will closely work together to develop training, to share information and to invest in scientific research.

According to Mrs Clémence Ross, president of the Choices International Foundation, GSO is a front runner in international criteria setting: “The creation of one regional standard for healthy food is a unique and welcome initiative. It will facilitate international cooperation and international trade. I call upon more regions to follow this example.”

HE. Mr Saud Alkhusaibi, GSO Secretary-General, said “GSO has developed more than1167 Gulf Standards and 529 Gulf Technical Regulations for Food Safety. Food standards give confidence to consumers in the safety, quality and authenticity of what they eat. By signing the letter of intent, GSO and Choices International Foundation will work jointly to increase and spread the culture of healthy food in the region.”

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10 Choices Principles

December 13th, 2018

Choices has presented its 10 Choices principles within the Codex Alimentarius electronic working group that has started this year. This working group has to come up with proposals for basic principles for front-of-pack nutrition labelling in the beginning of 2019 and the Choices principles are serving as a contribution to this debate.

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Call for research on positive labeling

December 12th, 2018

As a science-based organization Choices continuously works on a further review and substantiation of its program and on positive front-of-pack labelling. For that reason, Choices publishes every year a Research Overview, that summarizes the studies on positive front-of-pack labelling initiatives worldwide. It summarizes the current knowledge on topics such as the impact of positive FOP labelling on consumer attitudes and behaviour as well as on product reformulation by the food industry.

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