Consumer groups in Pro-Nutri-Score countries call for science-based label review
Recently, the seven countries that have officially endorsed Nutri-Score1 set up a transnational body to help push the colour-coded label on more products. Together with BEUC, consumer groups from six of those countries have joined forces today to make sure the newly established body preserves the independent character of Nutri-Score when it later improves it.
The consumer groups are appealing to their respective governments that any future update of the label should be science-based. They argue that a review free of commercial interests is crucial to guarantee the tool remains reliable to help consumers shift to healthier diets.
The new joint governance framework is made up of a ‘scientific committee’, tasked to consider any update to the nutrition label. The committee is made up of independent scientists from each of the seven countries. Their findings will guide Member States’ decisions over future updates.
The consumer groups have outlined key principles that should guide the reviewing process:
- The algorithm – which determines which grade from A to E can be attributed to a given foodstuff – must only be modified based on rigorous scientific evidence, free of commercial interests.
- Any exemption a government decides to grant a type of product should strictly abide by the scientific committee’s decisions.
- To ensure transparency, the Committee’s conclusions must be available, in full, on a public website.
The European Commission is expected to publish a proposal for a harmonised and mandatory front-of-pack nutritional label by the end of 2022. BEUC is supporting the Nutri-Score to be the future selected label in the EU, as it is currently the best-performing scheme in both aiding consumers to compare the nutritional quality of foods across products and to make healthier choices at the supermarket.
• BEUC news piece ‘Pro-Nutri-Score countries join forces to step up label roll-out', 15 February 2021
• BEUC factsheet on the Nutri-Score
• BEUC factsheet ‘Five Nutri-Score myths busted’
• BEUC position paper on front-of-pack nutritional labelling.
1 Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland.