Let’s impose NUTRI-SCORE at the EU level!
Faced with an increasingly varied but increasingly opaque food supply, European Union citizens now need to know more than ever what they are consuming, especially since the impact of food on health has become a priority concern with the increase in diseases such as obesity, diabetes, etc. Indeed, many foods are characterised by poor nutritional quality which can have disastrous consequences on consumer health.
While nutrition labelling was made mandatory in Europe in 2016, it takes the form of a table of figures that is far too complex and often misunderstood by most consumers. Other forms of nutrition labelling are permitted, but only on an optional basis. It is up to individual Member States to define them, which prevents any standardisation of the relevant information. This situation does not enable consumers to make conscious and informed food choices, and does not encourage manufacturers to make a real commitment to transparency or product improvement.
NUTRI-SCORE: scientifically legitimate …
NUTRI-SCORE is the result of expert work and is based on a score that takes into account both the content of components to be promoted (fibre, protein, fruit and vegetables) and those to be limited (calories, saturated fatty acids, sugars and salt). This nutritional score is translated according to a simple and attractive colour-coding system, ranging from dark green to dark orange and marked from A to E, which is affixed to the packaging. It has also been adapted to take into account the specificities of certain food groups, such as added fats (butter, oil), cheeses or even drinks.
… serving the consumer’s interests
A truly informative tool, NUTRI-SCORE gives consumers the keys to understanding the nutritional value of a food product at a glance, and enables them to be fully involved in their choice of a balanced diet on a daily basis. Supported by several national and international studies, it has already been adopted by several Member States (France, Belgium, Spain, etc.).
However, although this labelling system has proved its effectiveness through several studies, the European regulations in force do not oblige Member States to choose it and even less so to make it mandatory. This is why the seven associations supporting the ‘PRO-NUTRI-SCORE’ European citizens' initiative intend to urge the Commission to make a proposal to make it mandatory within the EU.
By collecting 1 million signatures, we aim to get the Commission to propose legislation for consumers’ health and well-being so that everyone can make an informed choice about what they eat, and can mix pleasure with good health.
Contributor: Cédric Musso
Contributor’s background: Representative of the citizens’ committee behind the ‘PRO-NUTRISCORE’ European citizens' initiative. Expert, independent, activist. UFC-Que Choisir is a non-profit association created in 1951. It has published a monthly magazine, Que Choisir, since 1961, covering investigations, tests, legal battles, lobbying actions, etc. With its network of 149 local associations, UFC-Que Choisir is at the service of consumers to inform, advise and defend them, and mobilise them.