`Scientists Want a 'Climate Label' Added to Europe's Nutri-Score - Olive Oil Times

Scientists Want a 'Climate Label' Added to Europe's Nutri-Score

By Paolo DeAndreis
Sep. 1, 2020 08:21 UTC

Food sold on European shelves should be prop­erly labeled for both its nutri­tional con­tents as well as for its related green­house gas emis­sions, Germany’s sci­en­tific advi­sory board on agri­cul­tural pol­icy, food and con­sumer health pro­tec­tion (WBAE) has said.

The announce­ment comes days after the German gov­ern­ment approved the intro­duc­tion of the Nutri-Score label­ing sys­tem. The WBAE said that, if adopted, its label­ing require­ments should be made manda­tory for pro­duc­ers.

Promoting more sus­tain­able food choices across the whole spec­trum of soci­ety requires a fair frame­work encom­pass­ing pro­vi­sion of solid and com­pre­hen­si­ble infor­ma­tion.- Britta Renner, co-author of the WBAE study

In the mean­time, Nutri-Score will be adopted on a vol­un­tary basis by pro­duc­ers and dis­trib­u­tors in the coun­try start­ing from next November.

The WBAE has now asked Berlin to raise the bar dur­ing the cur­rent German semes­ter of E.U. pres­i­dency and pro­pose the manda­tory adop­tion of Nutri-Score, while adding to it a new con­cept: prod­uct sus­tain­abil­ity.

See Also:Nutri-Score Label More Effective Than NutrInform, Study Finds

In a press release, the WBAE empha­sized the urgency of a strate­gic reori­en­ta­tion and sus­tain­able rein­force­ment of the entire food pol­icy area to facil­i­tate the nec­es­sary trans­for­ma­tion of the food sys­tem and cre­ate a fair food and eat­ing envi­ron­ment for all.”

According to the advi­sory board’s experts, cur­rent poli­cies place too much weight on con­sumers’ own respon­si­bil­ity for sus­tain­able food choices.”

Achim Spiller, agri­cul­tural econ­o­mist and co-chair of the report, wrote that such a low-key approach to pol­icy sends the wrong sig­nal in a com­plex pol­icy field that is heav­ily influ­enced by lob­by­ing activ­i­ties. What is required is a ded­i­cated food and nutri­tion pol­icy where the gov­ern­ment takes a more promi­nent role.”

The WBAE argues that this process should be devel­oped around a few core con­cepts: ded­i­cated food infor­ma­tion for young peo­ple, taxes on less sus­tain­able food, such as sugar-sweet­ened bev­er­ages, the pro­mo­tion of organic farm­ing and the devel­op­ment of new, manda­tory food labels.

The labels, the experts say, should not only offer easy-to-under­stand nutri­tional infor­ma­tion but should also include a cli­mate label” related to the car­bon foot­print of the prod­ucts as well as a ani­mal wel­fare” label for ani­mal prod­ucts.

On top of that, adverts for unhealthy foods tar­get­ing chil­dren should be restricted and the gov­ern­ment should develop a dig­i­tal ecosys­tem for more sus­tain­able food con­sump­tion,” the WBAE argued.

Promoting more sus­tain­able food choices across the whole spec­trum of soci­ety requires a fair frame­work encom­pass­ing pro­vi­sion of solid and com­pre­hen­si­ble infor­ma­tion, easy access to healthy foods, more food choice options and price incen­tives which make sus­tain­able choices finan­cially more attrac­tive for the con­sumer,” Britta Renner, co-author of the study, said.

The WBAE report added to the ongo­ing debate on food label­ing that is tak­ing place through­out the European Union.

Within the Food to Fork strat­egy announced in May by the European Commission, the E.U. is expected to adopt a unique com­pre­hen­sive food label­ing scheme.

The Commission said last June that a Europe-wide front-of-pack nutri­tion label could be intro­duced by 2022, after a wide and ample con­sul­ta­tion and assess­ment of the food labels impact.

The debate, includ­ing the dis­pute about the adop­tion of the Italian Nutrinform Battery instead of Nutri-Score, did not fully address the sus­tain­abil­ity aspects of food pro­duc­tion and dis­tri­b­u­tion until now.


Related Articles