EPF co-signs letter mandatory EU Front-of-Pack nutrition labelling system

On 8 September, ahead of the vote on the own-initiative report on the Farm to Fork Strategy, EPF, alongside other organisations, co-signed a letter to reiterate the importance of a harmonised, interpretative and mandatory EU front-of-pack (FOP) nutrition labelling system.

We asked the European Parliament to put public health perspectives above trade considerations or regional/local business preferences, notably by standing firm against exemptions for regionally-produced products.

Exemptions will undermine the aim of the system to be implemented uniformly and consistently. Allowing certain food producers and products - be they regionally produced - to opt out of using such a label would prevent consumers from having a full overview and would confuse or mislead them about the healthfulness of products. Existing Geographical Indication (GI) labels already recognise the specific quality of such products, which should however not be confused with nutritional composition. Further, specific food types such as those for babies and young children should not be exempted, in particular because many of these products are also high in sugar and salt. This is a crucial age of development where quality nutrition plays a great role in health and wellbeing and many risks associated with unhealthy diet begin in childhood.

Poor nutrition is a major well-known risk factor for chronic (non-communicable) diseases, notably cardiovascular and digestive diseases, diabetes and cancer. FOP nutrition labelling systems are effective evidence-based policy tools to address this modifiable risk factor.

We urged MEPs to send a strong signal of their commitment to help prevent diet-related chronic diseases. In the context of the Global Week for Action on NCDs, it would take an even greater significance.

You can read the joint letter below.