Nutrition profiles, 10 years of absconding in Brussels

0
8

Today marks 10 years of delay by the European Commission in adopting a public health measure delegated to it by the European legislature. Hip-Hip-Buuuhh!!!

Nutrition profiles, 10 years of absconding

The nutrient profiles were to be adopted by the European Commission no later than 19.1.09. As prescribed in the ‘Nutrition& Health Claims‘ (NHC) regulation, which came into effect 3 years earlier. (1) For the express purpose of preventing junk-food (or HFSS, High Fat, Sugar and Salt) labels and advertisements from boasting ‘healthful’ prerogatives.




The European legislature




had intended to put an end to the great deception carried out by




Big Food


towards consumers. Who are induced to purchase food-waste believing that it is beneficial to health. Since in the absence of nutrient profiles, it is possible to promote the ‘virtues’ related to the addition of synthetic minerals and vitamins, or fiber, on HFSS products. Such as breakfast cereal concoctions, bars and candy bars that are instead saturated with sugar and palm oil. Salt-laden ‘vegan’ foods. Or junk food intended for children (such as Nesquik Opti-Start, 75% sugar). These are all foods whose consumption should be minimized precisely because of nutritional and health requirements. (2)

[masterslider id=”155″]

 

However, the European Commission has disregarded its duties. First under Manuel Barroso, then under Jean-Claude Juncker. Indeed even – at the urging of Europalmarians.

in the service of the




lobby




of Ferrero, as Piedmont gubernatorial candidate Alberto Cirio



– Brussels speculated about eliminating the rule.

Some member states – like France, Spain and England, most recently Germany – have meanwhile adopted health policies aimed at mitigating the prevalence of obesity, overweight and related diseases. But it is not enough. (3)

Europe-Italy, an unresolved health crisis

Europe chatters without pursuing any initiatives of concrete benefit. And disregarding WHO recommendations, including on countering the obscene commercial policies of Big Food. Which in fact continues to abuse publicity

e




social media




to encourage



junk food consumption.




In Italy, from bad to worse




, the



dominantlobby

insists on opposing such measures, with the support of the regime press that falsely portrays such measures as ‘attacks on the Made in Italy‘. Fake news. Although the public health crisis is overt and also affects younger segments of the population, in Italy more than elsewhere. (4)

ConsumAtors, what to do

Consumer organizations have repeatedly called on the Commission to establish nutrient profiles over the past decade. In 2018 BEUC

(‘




the European Consumers Organization




‘) and 11 of its national affiliates – including



AltroConsumo

in Italy-they presented a number of examples of unhealthy foods marketed as ‘healthy’ in the Internal Market. But the Commission, once again, did not respond.


By January 19, 2009, the Commission shall (…) establish
specific nutrient profiles and conditions, including exemptions, to be met for the use of nutrition and health claims for foods and/or categories thereof.’ (EC Reg. 1924/06, Article 4.1)

The time has come to move from words to deeds. You must notify the European Commission of your formal request to fulfill your duty within two months, with respect to which you do not no discretion is provided (see above). After the deadline has expired, in case of inaction by Brussels, a so-called ‘action for failure to act’ must be submitted to the Court of Justice within the next two months. (5)

Now #enough is enough!

Dario Dongo

Notes

(1) See reg. EC 1924/06, Article 4

(2) All the more so where one considers the current rampant childhood overweight and obesity, and related diseases. See previous article https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/salute/obesità-infantile-una-sfida-in-salita

(3) On the incidence of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and premature mortality associated with unbalanced diets and excessive intakes of sugar, salt, and saturated fat, see previous articles https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/salute/diabete-emergenza-italia, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/salute/indice-di-massa-corporea-e-patologie-cardiovascolari-una-ricerca-ne-evidenzia-le-implicazioni-anche-in-soggetti-sani, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/salute/obesità-stretto-legame-con-11-tipi-di-cancro, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/salute/troppo-sale-nella-dieta-causa-infarto-e-tumori-ecco-come-mettersi-al-sicuro, mythical https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/salute/la-dieta-squilibrata-causa-un-decesso-su-5



(4) Data on childhood obesity in Italy are recalled at




https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/idee/obesità-infantile-l-esempio-inglese-per-l-italia


. In comparison with other EU countries, on https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/salute/dieta-mediterranea-e-obesità-infantile-l-europa-sottosopra. Regarding the need to introduce a ‘


Sugar Tax




‘, see




https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/salute/tassa-sulle-bevande-zuccherate-in-italia


(5) Cf. TFUE (Treaty for the Functioning of the European Union), Articles 265 and 266. An important public health precedent concerns the Commission’s condemnation of adopting a definition of endocrine disruptors (see


https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/salute/interferenti-endocrini-la-commissione-latita




)

+ posts

Dario Dongo, lawyer and journalist, PhD in international food law, founder of WIISE (FARE - GIFT - Food Times) and Égalité.