News 07.09.2021

WHO: EU-wide introduction of Nutri-Score necessary

  • Traffic light labels
  • Transparency and food safety

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the WHO, has called on the EU commission to introduce the Nutri-Score on a mandatory basis in Europe. It would help consumers make healthier food choices, which is a major challenge for the prevention of cancer and other chronic diseases and related deaths.

Based on scientific evidence, the IARC stresses the superiority of the Nutri-Score to other nutrition labels, and calls for its widespread and systematic adoption in Europe and beyond, to help consumers lower their risk of non-communicable diseases such as cancer. The research group added, that companies would also have an incentive to improve the quality of their products. 

foodwatch demands that the food lobby abandons its opposition to the Nutri-Score and listens to the advice of the experts. Associations for the agricultural and food industry such as Copa-Cogeca and FoodDrinkEurope have tried to prevent the introduction of a traffic light front of pack label in Brussels ever since the concept exists, foodwatch criticized.

The fight of the food lobby against the Nutri-Score is an unscrupulous game with the health of millions of consumers. The European Commission should not be impressed by that. The protection of people's health should be put above the profit interests of companies.
Sarah Häuser foodwatch Germany

What is the Nutri-Score?

The Nutri-Score, originally developed by French scientists, includes recommended components such as fiber and certain proteins in addition to the sugar, fat and salt content. It gives a single value for the food in question - 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 show that the Nutri-Score is the most understandable form of nutrition labelling and helps consumers to choose products that are more balanced.

foodwatch calls for mandatory Nutri-Score

The Nutri-Score has already been adopted by several European countries. France, Belgium, Spain, Luxembourg, Germany, and the Netherlands have introduced the nutritional traffic light. However, because a legal obligation at the national level alone is not possible under European law, labelling remains only voluntary. For the Nutri-Score to be fully effective, voluntary labelling is not enough. foodwatch is therefore calling for EU-wide mandatory front-of-pack labelling of food with the Nutri-Score! The EU Commission intends to propose a mandatory nutrition labelling model by the end of 2022.