CODEX Guidelines on Nutrition Labelling

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Purpose of the Guidelines

To ensure that nutrition labelling is effective:

  • in providing the consumer with information about a food so that a wise choice of food can be made;
  • in providing a means for conveying information of the nutrient content of a food on the label;
  • in encouraging the use of sound nutrition principles in the formulation of foods which would benefit public health;
  • in providing the opportunity to include supplementary nutrition information on the label.


To ensure that nutrition labelling does not describe a product or present information about it which is in any way false, misleading, deceptive or insignificant in any manner.

To ensure that no nutrition claim is made without nutrition labelling.


Principles for Nutrition Labeling

A. Nutrient declaration

Information supplied should be for the purpose of providing consumers with a suitable profile of nutrients contained in the food and considered to be of nutritional importance. The information should not lead consumers to believe that there is exact quantitative knowledge of what individuals should eat in order to maintain health, but rather to convey an understanding of the quantity of nutrients contained in the product. A more exact quantitative delineation for individuals is not valid because there is no meaningful way in which knowledge about individual requirements can be used in labelling.

B. Supplementary nutrition information

The content of supplementary nutrition information will vary from one country to another and within any country from one target population group to another according to the educational policy of the country and the needs of the target groups.

C. Nutrition labelling

Nutrition labelling should not deliberately imply that a food which carries such labelling has necessarily any nutritional advantage over a food which is not so labelled