CASH backs WCRF calls for traffic light labelling

6th February (updated 23rd July)

WCRF today called for traffic light labelling to be introduced on all packaged food to help consumers make healthier choices, in particular to help consumers choose lower salt foods so as to reduce risk of stomach cancer. CASH backs these calls and will be submitting a response to the Department of Health's Labelling Consultation (deadline 6th August).

Professor Graham MacGregor – Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and Chairman of CASH says:

“For many years it has been known that there is a relationship between chronic high salt intake and increased risk of gastric cancer. This latest analysis from D’Elia et al of 270,000 individuals in 7 prospective studies (1) demonstrates once again a relationship between increasing salt intake and risk of gastric cancer.

“Gastric cancer represents approximately 10% all deaths from cancer, amounting to 870,000 deaths per year worldwide. In the UK approximately 1690 of the 7,000 deaths from stomach cancer can be attributed to salt (2).

Katharine Jenner, CASH Campaign Director adds "add this study to the wealth of evidence that salt puts up blood pressure leading to strokes and heart disease, and you have an even more compelling reason for manufactures to stop putting so much salt in our food. Until that happens, clear front of pack labelling, preferably using the traffic light system, is the only way customers can make an informed choices".

Click here for the WCRF release

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1. D’Elia L Rossi G, Ippolito R, Cappuccio FP, Strazzullo P. Habitual salt intake and risk of gastric cancer: a meta-analysis of prospective studies. Clinical Nutrition. 2012. Available online: 30th January 2012 Click here to read the paper in Clinical Nutrition

2. Parkin DM. Cancers attributable to dietary factors in the UK in 2010 IV. Salt. British Journal of Cancer. 2011. 105. S31-S33 Click here to read the paper in the British Journal of Cancer