Tribune. While European Commission has just confirmed that a European legislative proposal on nutritional labeling would see the light of day in the coming months, and that their intention to generalize the Nutri-score in one form or another on the scale of the continent is very real, its defenders and his slayers are tearing each other apart in the media and on social media. The truth, however, may well lie between these two extremes.
These small multicolored strips, present on certain foodstuffs and intended to indicate the nutritional quality of food, unleash passions. Some large multinational lobbies do not want to hear about it and categorically refuse it. Others put it down, but on questionable grounds and for marketing purposes.
Small producers and those who offer protected designation of origin products feel trapped. If we do not want to lose sight of the general interest and lose the confidence of consumers, it is high time to clarify the rules of the game.
The health of citizens must be a priority. The European observation in this area further underlines the urgency to act. One in two adults and nearly one in three children is overweight in Europe, while nearly one in five citizens is obese. The health of Europeans is deteriorating and these morbid statistics are getting worse every year. With its nutritional information, the Nutri-score is a real tool of public utility.
Exclude certain products
However, some of the criticism needs to be heard. We are not talking about these large multinationals who think only of their colossal profits, to the detriment of the health of their customers. We are thinking more about what should be the primary target of the Nutri-score: junk food.
At present, the Nutri-score calculation methodology continues to favor the artificial to the detriment of the natural. It excludes additives and preservatives as well as added sugars and fatty acid profile. The same goes for cooking methods: this is why industrial fries can get a C rather than an E.
Should the Nutri-score apply to all products? No. The Commission, in its reflection, moreover mentions the possibility of excluding certain categories of food products.
Protect producers and consumers
Are we going to label local products, protected cheeses and hams, when their specifications forbid them the right to change recipes? No.
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“The methodology for calculating the Nutri-score continues to favor the artificial to the detriment of the natural”