News 08.04.2024

Portugal said "Yes" to Nutri-Score

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As of 4 April, 2024, Portugal officially adopts Nutri-Score as its front-of-pack nutrition logo. This marks a success for foodwatch's campaign. The next step is to promote its mandatory use throughout Europe.

Portugal has officially adopted the Nutri-Score front of pack nutritional labelling last Thursday. foodwatch applauds the choice of Portugal, emphasising the importance of Nutri-Score in translating nutritional information into a simple, color-coded system. It empowers consumers to make quick, informed decisions about their food, contributing significantly to healthier diets.  

To maximize the impact of Nutri-Score, it's essential that its implementation goes beyond voluntary labeling. foodwatch advocates for a mandatory approach to this front-of-pack labeling system across the European Union.  

Nutri Score: a measure to protect consumers health 

The Portuguese government highlighted that behind the choice of Nutri-Score, there is the interest to protect  consumers health.

The high frequency of chronic diseases associated with eating behaviours requires public health intervention and nutritional information, particularly that made available to consumers on food packaging, can guide healthier eating decisions, especially when this information is presented simply and clearly.

Unhealthy eating patterns are widespread across Europe. Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease are responsible for 77% of the disease burden in the European region. They cause substantial human suffering and threaten the financial position of households. NCDs account for the largest part of countries’ healthcare expenditures, costing EU economies EUR 115 billion annually. 

A harmonised mandatory front-of-pack nutrition labelling is needed 

With Portugal, there are now a total of 7 EU countries (France, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium, Spain, Netherlands) and Switzerland encouraging food businesses to adopt Nutri-Score as FOPNL on a voluntary basis. This is making Nutri-Score the most used system at Member State level.  

However, there's more to be done. The EU Commission failed to deliver the much-promised Food Information to Consumers regulation.  

In a recent open letter foodwatch reinforced the call on the EU Commission to provide clear front of pack nutritional info to consumers. The letter urges the Commission to add the mandatory adoption of Nutri Score to the agenda of the next political term. Only with a harmonised and mandatory front-of-pack-nutritional-label like Nutri-Score g citizens and consumers are in the right conditions to make informed decisions and protect their health.  

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