BVI News

Put warning labels on our food packages — BVI Cancer Society boss

Caribbean Community (CARICOM) heads of state, regional health officials, and manufacturers are locked in a debate on whether to make it mandatory to put front-of-package warning labels on manufactured food products in the region.

These warning labels are specifically for packaged foods containing high levels of sodium, fat or sugar, and the President of BVI’s Cancer Society, Gloria Fahie, has weighed in on the debate.

“I support implementing a policy where foods we import are labelled, no matter where they come from, once it has too much salt and sugar content,” Fahie told BVI News in a recent interview.

“It’s a very good idea because we know that sugar and salt in processed food affect you in one way or the other when it comes to cancer. If we have to put a label to warn people, I agree with it,” she said.

“We are consuming too much food with preservatives and additives and they are killing us and causing cancerous growths,” the Cancer Society President added.

Fahie also looked at the possible impact CARICOM’s decision could have on the food consumption of children. She noted children unknowingly consume foods that do not provide a lot of nutritional value and this causes problems in their growth and development. Therefore, she thinks the government needs to take a closer look at the health situation of the nation.

Meanwhile, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has shown support for the proposal by CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) to have these large octagonal warning labels on the front of food products.

The organization said it has shown that people make healthier and more informed decisions when they are presented with the facts. The labelling would assist consumers in identifying foods that have excessive fats, sugar and salt. These have all been linked to a non-communicable disease that affects the Caribbean.

Back in 2020, University of Technology in Jamaica conducted a study that highlighted almost 40 percent of the most commonly consumed foods contained more fat, sugar and sodium than the recommended level.

Type of labelling

While the debate surrounds labelling the packages, there is another debate around the types of labelling. Many manufacturers think the United Kingdom’s traffic light labelling is ideal and more palatable for consumers.

The traffic light labelling is where the package would have an area with the nutritional value on a red, amber and green background. However, most government officials are in favour of the black octagon model which sees a black octagon being broadly printed on the package.

Fahie said she would be in favour of the black octagon as it is bolder and usually black symbolizes danger.

“I do not agree with the different colours because people will pick up that canned food and not know what the symbols are,” she said.

The BVI would be affected by the outcome of CARICOM decision as it is an affiliate state and the territory imports food products from CARICOM member states.

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19 Comments

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  1. Poison says:

    They POISON us with FOOD and with MEDICINE that is how PHARMACEUTICAL make there money both colluding with each other

    Like 7
    Dislike 2
    • Seriously says:

      I have never seen a population as overweight and out of shape as the Belongers. Just look at the F*y. They import no diet drinks, no low calorie anything, they eat out or from prepared at the supermarket. Besides being lazy to work they are too lazy to feed themselves properly. They are a hopeless lot.

      Like 5
      Dislike 10
  2. Interesting says:

    While I do agree with this initiative, it is important to be realistic. Do we have the bargaining power as a territory to demand such change? I do not think so. Even if we join forces with the our brothers and sisters in the Caribbean, I still do not think we have a big enough voice to demand such change.

    Like 12
    Dislike 1
  3. @Interesting says:

    OF course we can demand a change. This is for foods produced in the Caribbean that currently aren’t labeled!

    Like 4
    Dislike 1
  4. @ CUBAN JOKER says:

    EVERYONE THOUGHT THAR YOU WAS GOING STEP THE AGRICULTURE IN THE BVI , BUT AS USUAL PURE MOUTH , AND THOSE WHO CAME AFTER ONLY INTERESTED IN WEED

  5. Label says:

    They getting away with the foolishness too long. I DEMAND A LABEL

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  6. Hungry Family says:

    We would love some high fat, high sodium, high sugar food of any kind. Label not required

    Like 2
    Dislike 2
  7. Yourfault says:

    Instead of stamping foods that was voluntarily bought and imported,try stamping peoples mind. Consumers are responsible for their health. Their brains consume everything in the mediA except health information.Besudes,with the our literacy failure and education now in the VI half of those deficient on nutritional knowledge would be ignorant and oblivious to the stamps.
    Teach nutrition in schools including by example.Stop glorifying obesity as “beauty” in beauty pageants.Parents should be bombarded with nutritionsl education. They are blissful in their ignorance. Orange drink is not orange jujce…read labels.,blue drinks????..dyes,fructose,flavoring in a pretty package is not juice. Dry cereal?…. These things are poison foryour brains, and your body.

    Like 3
    Dislike 1
  8. LOL says:

    Omg , Once again the BVI leading the way , this has been standard practise in the UK for 25 years or so , but you act like its your idea

    The BVI leading the way from the back once again

    Like 3
    Dislike 5
  9. Yourfault says:

    Instead of stamping foods that was voluntarily bought and imported,try stamping peoples mind. Consumers are responsible for their health. Their brains consume everything in the mediA except health information.Besides,with the literacy failure and education now in the VI half of those deficient in nutritional knowledge would be ignorant and oblivious to the stamps.
    Teach nutrition in schools including by example.Stop glorifying obesity as “beauty” in beauty pageants. Obesity is deadly,expensive and ugly no matter how it is packaged. Parents and guardians should be bombarded with nutritionsl education. Promote an encourage wa They are blissful in their ignorance. Promote and encourage walking. Orange drink is not orange jujce…read labels.,blue drinks????..dyes,fructose,flavoring in a pretty package is not juice. Dry cereal?…. These things are poison foryour brains, and your body.

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  10. Ha! says:

    That will NEVER HAPPEN! They were parading with nonsense about sober October when the real killer globally are the process foods we take in daily.

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  11. Yourfault says:

    Instead of stamping foods that was voluntarily bought and imported,try stamping peoples mind. Consumers are responsible for their health. Their brains consume everything in the mediA except health information.Besides,with the literacy failure and education now in the VI half of those deficient in nutritional knowledge would be ignorant and oblivious to the stamps.
    Teach and practice nutrition in schools including by example.Glorifying obesity as “beauty” in beauty pageants carries the wrong message. Obesity is deadly,expensive and ugly no matter how it is packaged. Parents and guardians should be bombarded with nutritionsl education. They are blissful in their ignorance. Promote and encourage walking. Orange drink is not orange juice…read labels.,blue drinks????..dyes,fructose,flavoring in a pretty package is not juice. Dry cereal?…. These things are poison foryour brains, and your body.

  12. Windy says:

    High in fats. Perfect for the Premere’s office door.

  13. UK label system says:

    Typical, we hate the UK so much that we don’t even want their label system!

    • smh says:

      And what business is it of yours… it is their land, not yours, THEIRS they can sell if they want to. Go sit down, please.

  14. its a start says:

    Its a start, but what about the burning of toxic fumes in pockwood pond and increase cancer rates n west end? eating hot food from styrofoam, microplastics in water bottles which is linked to cancer & infertility, all these gardening and marine chemicals liked Roundup that is banned in many first world places, because of dangerous health effects, but all is ok to use here…

  15. Mick Mars says:

    I’d rather they mandate to print, IN BOLD , the expiration date of all food items as clearly as possible rather than some obscure serial number you got to twist up the package to find with a magnifying glass.

  16. @ its a start /gen public says:

    Along with the styrofoam and micro plastics, it is also a deadly practice to cover or cook food in ALUMINUM FOIL. LOOK IT UP.

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