By Professor Serge Hercberg and Dr. Mathilde Touvier
As you know, the European Commission (EC) announced in May 2020, as part of its « Farm to Fork strategy », that an harmonised and mandatory Front-of-Pack nutrition label would be adopted for Europe by the end of 2022.
Based on its scientific background, Nutri-Score has already been adopted by several European states (France, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland) and has been at the heart of the EC discussions for several months.
However, powerful lobbies relayed by some member states use totally untruthful statements to discredit and block the choice of Nutri-Score. In addition to fake news, they support a monochrome label alternative aiming to be «neutral» (the « NutrInform battery system »), without any scientific substrate and whose principle and graphic representation are very close to the GDA/RIs set up by food companies in the 2000s (and demonstrated by many studies to be totally ineffective). Totally rejected by consumer associations, it represents an unacceptable threat of backtracking.
Given the will of lobbies to block the EC decision-making process for the establishment of a single nutritional label useful for European consumers, and to counteract unfounded attacks against Nutri-Score, it is necessary that the scientific community must mobilize to emphasize that only science must guide the political decision in the field of public health and that the choice of the model of the harmonised nutrition label for Europe must respond to this alone requirement, and not to the interests of economic operators or the states that defend them.
That is why we invite you to join as signatories of this call to defend science and public health against lobbies and to remind the European Commission that the Nutri-Score has been the subject of numerous studies following a rigorous scientific process justifying its adoption. A scientific text associated with the Call includes all the scientific work concerning Nutri-Score.
If you agree to sign this call and join the group of European scientists supporting the implementation of the Nutri-Score in Europe, please let me know by return email by telling me the name and affiliation you would like to have appear on the list (to be presented in alphabetical order). And we thank you for sharing this email with all colleagues who may be interested in supporting this initiative and sign the call.
We are really counting on your support. Please contact Professor Serge Hercberg at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line Nutri-score to add your name to the list of signatories.
With kind regards,
Serge Hercberg, Mathilde Touvier and Jordi Salas-Salvadó
Professor Serge Hercberg
Professeur de Nutrition Émérite, Université Sorbonne Paris-Nord
Equipe de Recherche en Epidémiologie Nutritionnelle (EREN)
compte twitter: @HercbergS
Centre de Recherche Épidémiologie et Statistique Sorbonne Paris Cité (CRESS-UMR1153)
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