`Italy Reiterates Opposition to Nutri-Score Label, Calls for Wider Adoption of Nutrinform - Olive Oil Times

Italy Reiterates Opposition to Nutri-Score Label, Calls for Wider Adoption of Nutrinform

By Julie Al-Zoubi
Sep. 9, 2020 12:53 UTC

Italy has once again voiced its con­cern that the Nutri-Score sys­tem, which has been pro­posed as a European Union-wide front-of-pack food label­ing sys­tem, unfairly dis­crim­i­nates against tra­di­tional Italian foods includ­ing olive oil, Parma ham and Parmigiano cheese.

Teresa Bellanova, the Italian Minister of Agriculture has been lob­by­ing other E.U. gov­ern­ments on the issue and has called for the pro­tec­tion of foods that she hailed as pil­lars of the Mediterranean diet.” Greece and Romania have lent their sup­port to Italy’s stance.

See Also:Scientists Want a Climate Label Added to Europe’s Nuti-Score

At a recent meet­ing of agri­cul­tural lead­ers in Germany, Bellanova told min­is­ters that the algo­rithms used to cal­cu­late Nutri-Score were reduc­tive” and could mis­lead con­sumers.

While France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands have agreed to vol­un­tar­ily adopt Nutri-Score (along with many of Europe’s major food pro­duc­ers and retail­ers), the Italian Ministry of Economic Development pre­sented its own alter­na­tive label­ing sys­tem, the Nutrinform bat­tery.

Both label­ing sys­tems are aimed at encour­ag­ing Europeans to eat more nutri­tious foods to improve health.

The Nutri-Score sys­tem has been hailed for its sim­plic­ity to imple­ment as each food­stuff is sim­ply awarded a color-coded let­ter. However, oppo­nents have crit­i­cized it for over­sim­pli­fy­ing the nutri­tious value of cer­tain prod­ucts and unfairly penal­iz­ing some foods which are widely con­sumed as part of the Mediterranean diet.

Back in August, the European Commission approved the imple­men­ta­tion of Italy’s Nutrinform bat­tery food labelling sys­tem, which gave Italian pro­duc­ers the go-ahead to place the Nutrinform labels on their food pack­ag­ing. The move also implied that the Italian sys­tem would com­pete with the French-favored Nutri-Score to become the E.U.’s offi­cial food clas­si­fi­ca­tion sys­tem.

Nutri-Score was designed to clas­sify the nutri­tional pro­file of food and bev­er­ages with a sim­ple color coded sys­tem that ranks foods on a scale from A to E. (A being the health­i­est options and E being the least healthy.)

The Nutrinform con­cept was devel­oped to make it eas­ier for con­sumers to under­stand how a spe­cific prod­uct can be con­sumed as part of a healthy diet. Rather than labelling any food as either good or bad, Nutrinform dis­plays the nutri­tional value and energy intake of the prod­uct using a bat­tery graphic.

However, a study recently pub­lished in the jour­nal, Nutrients, found that the Nutri-Score label was more effec­tive than the Nutrinform label as well as sev­eral oth­ers in help­ing con­sumers rank food items by nutri­tional qual­ity.


Related Articles