Food Color Coding System ‘Traffic lights’ From 01 April
The Health Ministry states that the color coding system better known as the ‘traffic light system’ of red, orange and green would be introduced to solid food items available in the market by 1 April.
The Ministry said that the system had been introduced to define the content of sugar in fizzy drinks and cordials from 2017 onwards as the first step to stop the spread of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
According to a national survey carried out a few years back, 15 per cent Sri Lankan children were vulnerable to diabetes. The same survey showed that 20% children were vulnerable to diabetes in the Colombo District. The Ministry sources said that a new survey was underway at a national level. Although the statistics had not been released officially, it shows that the percentage of children prone to contract NCDs had increased over the years.
High levels of sugar, salt, and fat used to prepare food items available in the market had increased public vulnerability to NCDs, the Ministry said. Therefore the system would be implemented for solid, partially solid, and liquid food items available in the market. Discussions were carried out at the Health Ministry presided over by Health Minister, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne in this regard.