Nutriscore labelling is ambiguous, opaque and does not contribute to educating consumers on a healthy diet.
Nutriscore labelling is detrimental to both consumers and producers.
Nutriscore labelling should be withdrawn and replaced with better solutions.
The European Green Deal sets out how to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. It maps a new, sustainable, and inclusive growth strategy to boost the economy, improve people’s health and quality of life, care for nature, all whilst promoting inclusivity.
The Farm to Fork Strategy (F2F) is at the heart of the Green Deal. It addresses conscientiously the challenges of sustainable food systems and recognises the inextricable links between healthy people, healthy societies, and a healthy planet. With F2FS, the Commission has aimed to facilitate the shift to healthier diets and stimulate product reformulation, by setting up nutrient profiles to restrict the promotion (via nutrition or health claims) of foods high in fat, sugars, and salt.
Certain Farm to Fork Strategy provisions miss the target.
However, certain F2F provisions miss the target and allow for biased, distortive national practices.
According to Chapter 2.4 of the Farm to Fork Strategy, “The provision of clear information that makes it easier for consumers to choose healthy and sustainable diets will benefit their health and quality of life and reduce health-related costs”. In order to ensure that this empowering objective for consumers is met, the Commission has proposed a harmonised mandatory front-of-pack nutrition labelling (FOPNL). Some countries, such as France since March 2017, have started to adduce ‘Nutriscore’, also known as the 5-Colour Nutrition label (5-CNL) as a potential European FOPNL.
Nutriscore – as applied for example by a number of large-scale food retailers – focuses on giving foods one of five classification letters, with ‘A’ being a preferable score and ‘E’ being a detrimental score. The calculation of the score involves only seven different parameters of nutrient information per 100g of food. This computation does not consider the exact quantities consumed, ultimately confusing the consumer even more.
Nutriscore makes the (bad) choice for the consumer.
Instead of educating the consumer, Nutriscore makes the choice of food for the consumer, often without considering the consumers’ best interest.
It has become ludicrous how front-of-pack labelling schemes with over-simplistic grades and colours, have jeopardised and obfuscated key objectives such as food safety, transparency, and consumer protection. As a direct consequence of uncoordinated actions, the health of EU citizens has been imperilled; likewise, thousands of producers have once again been harshly impacted.
Nutriscore is de facto deceptive and manipulative.
Today, Nutriscore penalizes foods with scientifically recognized nutritional properties such as honey, extra-virgin olive oil or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, with a very poor score. Colour-based FOPNL schemes, like Nutriscore, condemn individual macronutrients, ultimately destroying the European agri-food chain.
Instead, no food can simply be considered as healthy or unhealthy in itself. In fact, all foods can be consumed with the right frequencies and in the right quantities within a varied and balanced diet. Therefore, no food should be discriminated by default.
Large-scale retailers are not transparent to the consumers.
There is evidence of the large-scale retailers’ practice to promote the modification of food compounds with the use of chemicals for the sole purpose of improving the Nutriscore grade. The system benefits a few, large companies that choose to convert agricultural raw materials into ingredients created in laboratories, in order to achieve a theoretical “perfect” nutritional composition– and this, without properly informing the consumer of the alterations made.
This practice is a lucid infringement of the transparency that is owed to consumer and creates a new category of food products that claim to have better nutritional values than traditional ones. On the contrary, these new products put at risk traditional agricultural production & supply chains, as well as the job markets related to them.
Nutriscore cannot replace the advice of a nutritionist.
Nutriscore is dangerous for the consumers, mainly due to the absence of nutrient-specific information, which is essential to follow a healthy lifestyle and fight diet-related diseases.
Notoriously, in countries where Nutriscore has been implemented, more and more people with health issues have opted towards simply eating foods with a Nutriscore equal to A or B, instead of properly seeking advice from a nutritionist or qualified medical practitioner, ultimately putting their lives at risk.
Nutriscore has already been rejected by European citizens.
In 2020 an initiative was launched to collect a million signatures in favour of the implementation of Nutriscore. It was aimed to be a decisive initiative that would have ultimately proven the favour of EU citizens for this FOPNL scheme. Despite that, the initiative was officially withdrawn, however, on 20 April 2020, less than 20 days after the end of the signature collection period, having just exceeded 100,000 statements of support, far from the million required for the success of this initiative. In Italy, 647 signatures were collected in 10 months, whilst in Bulgaria, only 17 signatures were collected, in both Cyprus and Slovenia a mere 11 each and Estonia hardly 5. In Latvia, only 4 signatures were collected showcasing the lowest number of signatures collected in all of Europe. The failure of this signature collection initiative proved the enmeshed complexity of the topic, and further demonstrated that citizens require additional information, which exceeds a simplistic colour-alerting scheme, in order to choose their foods and follow a healthy diet.
In view of the latest Public initiative on Food labelling – revision of rules on information provided to consumers, issued by the European Commission, more than half of the total number of feedbacks received, totalling 472, expressed negative sentiments towards the Nutriscore FOPNL.
Nutriscore threatens century-old culinary traditions for no good reason.
Nutriscore and its colours contaminate century-old culinary traditions destroying the European cultural and gastronomic heritage, while at the same time shadowing over the efforts made in order to safeguard our EU Geographical Indications and our traditional diets.
We must join forces in preventing the spread of Nutriscore and its oversimplistic, discriminatory, and damaging label from becoming mandatory throughout Europe.
The NO-NUTRISCORE ALLIANCE is dedicated to ensuring that your voice as a rightful EU citizen is heard. It is for this reason that we ask you to sign the attached letter and prove your stance against Nutriscore!