Berlin, 16 March 2021: 273 renowned European scientists and 26 medical associations called on the European Commission to make the Nutri-Score mandatory in Europe. The experts from the scientific fields of nutrition, public health and medicine warned against the efforts of the food lobby and some EU member states to prevent the mandatory labelling with the nutrition traffic light at European level. The consumer organisation foodwatch welcomed the initiative of the scientists: "The Nutri-Score is under fire: The manufacturers of unbalanced foods are trying to prevent the consumer-friendly traffic light labelling with all their might. The EU Commission must prove that it takes the fight against malnutrition seriously and make the Nutri-Score mandatory throughout Europe," says Luise Molling of foodwatch.
The governments of France, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Luxembourg and the Netherlands have all decided in favour of the nutrition traffic light. However, labelling remains purely voluntary, because a legal obligation at national level alone is not possible under European law. The EU Commission intends to propose a mandatory nutrition labelling model by the end of 2022.
The European scientists and associations come from 31 different countries. Among them are the German Nutrition Society (DGE), the European Child Obesity Group (ECOG) in Brussels and the French Society of Public Health. Together they warn against the influence of lobby interests on nutrition labelling. The Nutri-Score is repeatedly the target of scientifically unfounded attacks with the intention of discrediting and preventing the labelling. The signatories of the appeal advocated that the decision for a model should be made solely on a scientific basis. In this respect, the Nutri-Score is more convincing than any other model: it is the only nutrition label in Europe that has proven its effectiveness in numerous peer-reviewed studies, the appeal says.
Originally developed by French scientists, the Nutri-Score includes recommended components such as dietary fibre and certain proteins in addition to the sugar, fat and salt content in the assessment. It gives a single value for the respective food - on a five-point scale from "A" on a dark green field for the most favourable balance to a yellow "C" and a red "E" for the least favourable. Numerous scientific studies prove that the Nutri-Score is the most understandable form of nutrition labelling and makes consumers reach for healthier products.