`Second European Parliament Committee Votes to Exclude Olive Oil From Nutri-Score - Olive Oil Times

Second European Parliament Committee Votes to Exclude Olive Oil From Nutri-Score

By Paolo DeAndreis
Apr. 20, 2021 07:57 UTC

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have once again voted to exempt sin­gle-ingre­di­ent food items from any poten­tial pan-European front-of-pack label­ing sys­tem (FOPL).

While sev­eral MEPs cited Nutri-Score as the FOPL that should be adopted, a major­ity voted for the sec­ond time in a few weeks to exclude extra vir­gin olive oils and other prod­ucts with pro­tected geo­graph­i­cal indi­ca­tions from being rated at all.

Our fight at the Parliament is to try to leave mono ingre­di­ents, like olive oil, honey and ham, out of the Nutri-Score label­ing.- Adrián Vázquez Lázara, Spanish MEP

By a vote of 30 for and 13, MEPs in the parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee passed an amend­ment call­ing on the European Commission to fur­ther study the issue of exemp­tions for cer­tain, pre­dom­i­nantly south­ern European, food prod­ucts. A sim­i­lar amend­ment was passed by the parliament’s International Trade Commission last month.

Spearheaded by the Spanish and Italian MEPs, Jordi Cañas and Sandro Gozi, Amendment 112 asked the Commission to explore the neces­sity to apply spe­cific con­di­tions to and exemp­tions for cer­tain food cat­e­gories or food­stuffs, such as olive oil, or for those cov­ered by Protected Designations of Origin, Protected Geographical Indications or Traditional Specialities Guaranteed, as well as for sin­gle-ingre­di­ent prod­ucts.

See Also:Hundreds of Scientists Support Adoption of Nutri-Score Labeling System

The amend­ment also asked for suit­able and tai­lored mea­sures to sup­port micro, small, medium and social econ­omy enter­prises when imple­ment­ing such label­ing.

Other amend­ments dis­cussed by the Commission included debat­ing if a future European label­ing plat­form should be manda­tory or not.

Other MEPs asked for the Commission to eval­u­ate the need to have a label­ing sys­tem capa­ble of express­ing the nutri­tional qual­i­ties of the prod­ucts, pres­ence of resid­ual pes­ti­cide traces and a rat­ing about the well-being of ani­mals.

The Cañas and Gozi ini­tia­tive comes on the heels of the con­cern voiced in Italy, Spain and other coun­tries about the pos­si­ble future adop­tion of Nutri-Score.

The French-born label­ing sys­tem clas­si­fies food with col­ors and let­ters, from the health­ier Green A” down to the Red E.” Olive oil is rated as a Yellow C,” a clas­si­fi­ca­tion that many in the sec­tor believe will keep con­sumers away from the prod­uct.

Supporters of Nutri-Score main­tain that the Yellow C” is the health­i­est grade for an ani­mal fat or veg­etable oil. They add that the scores are meant to be used to com­pare food items of the same cat­e­gory.

In an inter­view with Euronews, a col­league of Cañas from the same party, Adrián Vázquez Lázara, said that the prob­lem with Nutri-Score is the way the algo­rithm eval­u­ates sin­gle-ingre­di­ent foods, such as olive oil and other prod­ucts of the Mediterranean diet.

Our fight at the [European] Parliament is to try to leave mono (fat) ingre­di­ents, like olive oil, honey and ham, out of the Nutri-Score label­ing,” he said. Those prod­ucts from Protected Destinations of Origin and pro­tected geo­graph­i­cal loca­tions have already been accepted by soci­ety and gov­ern­ments as top-notch prod­ucts that rep­re­sent the image of many mem­ber states.”

Nutri-Score has already been adopted by five European coun­tries, includ­ing France and Germany. However, at least nine oth­ers have expressed their oppo­si­tion to the idea. Members of the olive oil sec­tor in Spain and Italy, in par­tic­u­lar, have also repeat­edly voiced their con­cerns about Nutri-Score.

The European Commission plans to select one uni­form FOPL to be used across the E.U. by the end of 2022.


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