Stakeholders from across the food system have delivered an open letter to the European Commission calling for mandatory nutritional labelling based upon this front-of-pack system. With support from businesses, politicians, academics and consumer organisations, the letter claims it will help promote balanced eating and drinking habits.
Vocal opposition to the system has appeared from many sources which claim Nutri-Score promotes certain foods that are not healthy, whilst penalising traditional foods which are healthy in moderation. Examples include French Fries that are graded ‘A’ as healthy, while Jamon Iberico receives a ‘E’.
Based upon a nutritional database from the UK, the system was developed and selected by the French Government as their default front-of-pack nutritional guidelines, later receiving support from WHO and EC. Rebuttals to criticisms have been put forward by Nutri-Score, who claim comparisons between products can only be made on ‘like for like’.
Powerhouse businesses such as Danone and Nestle support the implementation, while many public health and nutrition representatives from NGOs and Universities also support the system, alongside three MEPs.
As the European Commission prepares to launch its Farm to Fork strategy, sustainable nutrition habits will need to be fostered in the battle against obesity. Recent evidence from SAPEA also suggests labelling is one of the effective ways to influence consumers. Whether Nutri-Score is the best system available, or simply ‘good enough’, is open to debate.