DORSET Cereals has defended its packaging after campaigners criticised the "scandalous" decision by some brands not to use a colour-coded labelling system that reveals sugar levels.

The company does not use a ‘traffic light’ system, endorsed by the Department of Health, on its products, nor does it include any nutritional information on the front of its packaging.

Charity Action on Sugar, a group of specialists concerned with sugar and its effects on health, has surveyed 25 cereal manufacturers and has found that many do not use the system despite their products containing high levels of sugar, which would attract a red label.

It is calling for traffic light front of pack (FOP) nutrition information to be introduced across all food and drink products.

Katharine Jenner, Action on Sugar and FoodSwitch UK campaign director, said: "Shoppers should be seeing red, and they would be if manufacturers used the correct labels.

"It's scandalous that certain food manufacturers are still refusing to be transparent when it comes to front of pack nutrition labelling."

The traffic light colour-coded system uses red for high, amber for medium and green for low on labels to indicate to consumers what levels of fat, saturated fat, sugars and salt are in the product.

But Dorset Cereals say that "oversimplifying" nutrition labels could also be misleading.

A spokesman for the company said: "We believe most people who eat our muesli understand that dried fruits, nuts and seeds contain some naturally-occurring sugars and fats, but are also an excellent source of fibre and whole grain, as well as essential vitamins and minerals."