The brief announcement that the Government had accepted that there should be regulations on open date marking of food, to come into effect in 1975, will come as no surprise. It is a timely reminder of what public pressure can achieve these days; how sustained advocacy and publicity by interested sectors of society—magistrates, local authorities, public health workers, consumer groups—can secure legislative changes which, in this case, run counter to trade opinions and the recommendation originally made by the Food Standards Committee that such a proposal was not practical and the existing law was an adequate protection. This was stated in the FSC Report on Food Labelling of 1964, although there was no indication of the evidence reviewed or that the subject had been considered very deeply; it was, after all, only a small fraction of the problem of food labelling control. It was also stated in this Report that in certain cases, date‐stamping of food could give to purchasers a false sense of security, “not justified by the conditions under which the food has been kept since manufacture”.
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