Press Release 20.03.2024

foodwatch calls for preventative measures concerning food and nutrition to be at the heart of the next Commission mandate for health

The international consumer organisation foodwatch has accused the European Commission of failing in its mandate to make a difference to the health of its citizens through food legislation. Despite the promises of the "Farm to Fork" package, nothing has been implemented, foodwatch criticised. In a letter to EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Belgian Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke, foodwatch points out that key pieces of legislation, like the "Food Information to Consumers" legislation, were withdrawn at the final moment and still no date has been set for allowing democratic debate. 

In the meantime, the health crisis escalates with abundant evidence available on the links between the food we are eating and many Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), including heart disease, liver disease, diabetes, obesity and several forms of cancer. 

"For a Commission that was committed to ‘Beating Cancer’ this a shocking failure," says Suzy Sumner, Head of the Brussels Office for foodwatch international. "From the outside it looks like everything is being done to avoid talking about the nutritional value of food. Our access to information request proves heavy lobbying from the industry to ensure that a mandatory and harmonised front- of-pack nutritional label did not see the light of day. But who is at the blunt end of this failure? European citizens who are trying to make healthy choices every day for themselves and their families."

foodwatch calls for three measures to be taken in the next mandate: 

  • Make Nutri Score the harmonised and mandatory front-of-pack nutrition labelling for all the EU 
  • Ban misleading health and nutritional claims on food packaging 
  • Ban advertising of junk food to young people 

"This is a basic minimum," added Sumner, "These are the measures that institution after institution are showing works. There is no time for further delays."

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