HomelabelsThe EU public health, EUPHA, indicates NutriScore as the best option of FoPNL

The EU public health, EUPHA, indicates NutriScore as the best option of FoPNL

EUPHA – the Association representing over 39.000 healthcare professionals and public sector organisations, at EU and Member State level – urges the European Commission to urgently implement NutriScore, identified as the best nutrition labeling scheme front-on-pack (FoPNL). (1)

EUPHA's reminder to the Commission

The European Commission pledged to propose harmonized front-of-pack nutrition labeling in May 2020 as part of its strategy Farm to Fork. (2) The deadline was indicated in the fourth quarter of 2020. But despite the positive participation in the public consultation, it did not honor the commitment. (3)

Any delay it exacerbates the seriousness of already evident public health problems. Half of Europe's adult population is obese or overweight, EUPHA points out (European Public Health Association). This increases the incidence of chronic diseases such as cancers, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and coronary heart disease.

Unhealthy diets, with high consumption of nutritionally unbalanced ultraprocessed foods (HFFS, high in fat, sugar and salt) are considered the fuse of so much disease. Furthermore, they are listed as the cause of 950 deaths a year, especially in the lowest socioeconomic groups.

Prevention through FoPNL

The introduction An EU-wide harmonised, efficient and mandatory front-of-pack nutrition labeling scheme is one of the most effective tools to reverse the trend.

EUPHA extension he recalls its advantages in four respects.

1 – Inform consumers with a well-designed FoPNL it is an effective aid in directing purchases towards healthier choices. The nutritional table already provided on the back of the package is not sufficient, as is evident. Conversely, a scheme of immediate understanding achieves the goal. The success of the Yuka app, also in Italy, confirms the thesis. (4)

2 – A harmonized FoGNP will allow economic operators to compete on equal terms. The voluntariness of the label front-on-pack generates confusion. Today there are seven recommended national schemes in 14 member countries. And some producers adopt the label only on some products, the healthiest ones.

3 – Member States they can only recommend FoPNL, but not make it mandatory. In fact, they are deprived of an important health policy tool.

4 – A harmonized FoPNL system and mandatory, it responds to the tasks of the European Union. Namely, promoting the proper functioning of the internal market and ensuring a high level of consumer and health protection.

EUPHA only promotes NutriScore

In his statement, EUPHA considers Nutri-Score the best and only possible option for a rapid implementation of a European harmonized nutrition logo.

The reasons of choice derive from the outcome of the analysis of the Joint Research Center of the Commission, in turn based on the literature reporting consumer preferences. (5)

Of the four types of labels considered, in fact, NutriScore was the most effective, compared to the others (Keyhole, Multiple Traffic Light, Nutrinform), as it is simple, graduated and colour-coded. It has been found to be well understood by consumers and has been extensively validated and prospectively associated with positive health outcomes.

'While no scheme can ever be called “perfect” for all stakeholders, the evidence collected and its adoption by an increasing number of Member States make NutriScore the only viable option' concludes EUPHA.

Spread fake news, as in the intervention on Twitter by the Italian Minister of Agriculture, Lollobrigida, only serves to lower the comparison to embarrassing levels. (6)

Marta Strinati


Statement on front-of-pack nutrition labeling in the European Union. EUPHA extension. 15.3.23 https://eupha.org/repository/advocacy/2023/EUPHA%20Statement%20on%20FoPNL%20FINAL.pdf

(2) Dario Dongo, Marina De Nobili. Special Farm to Fork, the strategy presented in Brussels on 20.5.20. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 24.5.20

(3) Dario Dongo. Reform reg. EU 1169/11, public consultation. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 16.1.22

(4) Marta Strinati, Dario Dongo. Yuka, if you know it, you spread it. The app conquers 2 million Italians in just one year. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 30.9.21

(5) Dario Dongo, Andrea Adelmo Della Penna. European Commission, research confirms NutriScore's approach. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 14.9.22

(6) Dario Dongo. NutriScore, Professor Serge Hercberg corrects the Italian minister's fake news. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 8.3.23

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Professional journalist since January 1995, he has worked for newspapers (Il Messaggero, Paese Sera, La Stampa) and periodicals (NumeroUno, Il Salvagente). She is the author of journalistic surveys on food, she has published the book "Reading labels to know what we eat".

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