Italian Politicians, Farmers Unite to Oppose Nutri-Score

Resistance to Nutri-Rating con­tin­ues to increase in Italy. Politicians, the lead­ing farm­ers’ asso­ci­a­tions and the olive indus­try have all opposed the pos­si­ble adop­tion of the front-of-pack label­ing sys­tem (FOPL) by the European Commission.

Their normally strongly-worded state­ments come immediately after a peti­tion signed by pretty much 300 sci­en­tists and nutri­tion­ists questioned Brussels to chose Nutri-Rating as the offi­cial European FOPL. The coali­tion thinks Nutri-Rating to be the most sci­en­tif­i­cally audio label­ing plat­form.

We are fac­ing a fierce assault (from Nutri-Score) on the Italian and Mediterranean food items cul­ture and its foun­da­tions, this kind of as extra vir­gin olive oil.– Michele Sonnessa, pres­i­dent, Città dell’Olio.

Nutri-Rating rep­re­sents a real dan­ger that could com­pro­mise the Italian agri­food sys­tem,” Minister of Agriculture Stefano Patuanelli said even though ask­ing the full Italian food items indus­try to oppose the French-born FOPL.

The severe real­ity is that the Italian exports reach mar­kets oth­ers long for,” Patuanelli extra. They want to use Nutri-Rating to dis­rupt our exclusive tal­ent to export prod­ucts with a sig­nif­i­cant additional value… To hit [Italian food exports] they are prepared to attack the Mediterranean diet program, which is rec­og­nized by UNESCO as an intan­gi­ble component of human her­itage.”

See Also: Nutri-Rating Updates

The min­is­ter con­firmed the Italian gov­ern­men­t’s com­mit­ment to actively oppose Nutri-Score and achieve out to other inter­ested coun­tries in the E.U. to kind a united front.

His remarks arrived dur­ing a hear­ing in front of the Italian Parliament in which rep­re­sen­ta­tives from all main polit­i­cal par­ties expressed sim­i­lar con­cerns about Nutri-Rating.

Solid polit­i­cal attacks have been directed at Walter Ricciardi, 1 of the advi­sors to the Ministry of Health, who signed the professional-Nutri-Rating peti­tion.

Matteo Salvini, leader of the con­ser­v­a­tive Lega Nord social gathering in the gov­ern­ing coali­tion, asked Ricciardi to resign due to his stance on the foodstuff label­ing sys­tem.

Opposition to Nutri-Rating runs deep in the Italian polit­i­cal sys­tem, with community gov­ern­ments, this kind of as Piedmont, express­ing their oppo­si­tion to the FOPL. Italian rep­re­sen­ta­tives in the European Parliament, includ­ing Paolo De Castro, also have appealed to both equally the polit­i­cal and the sci­en­tific worlds to sign up for the fight against what he explained as the erroneous sys­tem… that places at threat our complete foods her­itage.”

“[It is wrong] to give votes to food items, when what is required is to supply the con­sumers infor­ma­tion about the ori­gin and the char­ac­ter­is­tics of that foods to allow them make more con­scious decisions,” he included.

Ettore Prandini, pres­i­dent of the nationwide farmer asso­ci­a­tion Coldiretti, also sided with Patuanelli and asked for an urgent inter­ven­tion to halt the attack on Italian national meals prod­ucts.”

In accordance to Prandini, need to Nutri-Rating be permitted, it could even unfold on a global degree, directly threat­en­ing the €46 bil­lion Italian foods exports recorded in 2020.”

Whilst Nutri-Rating archi­tect Serge Hercberg and experts these kinds of as Pilar Galan have repeat­edly explained that Nutri-Rating is an ally of the Mediterranean diet plan and lets con­sumers to com­pare prod­ucts belong­ing to the exact same cat­e­gory, Italian farm­ers con­tinue to oppose it.

Promoting the Nutri-Score clas­si­fi­ca­tion is like spread­ing fake news,” accord­ing to Città dell’Olio, an asso­ci­a­tion that features Italian munic­i­pal­i­ties included in olive oil cul­ture.

We must firmly oppose the fake news distribute about a nutraceu­ti­cal healthy rel­e­vant food stuff this kind of as extra vir­gin olive oil that the Foodstuff and Drug Administration pro­motes as a rem­edy for ensur­ing con­sumers health,” reported Michele Sonnessa, pres­i­dent of Città dell’Olio.

We aspect with Minister Patuanelli and the deputy sec­re­tary, Francesco Battistoni, to as soon as and for all fall the Nutri-Score plat­form,” he included. We are fac­ing a fierce assault on the Italian and Mediterranean foods cul­ture and its foun­da­tions, such as excess vir­gin olive oil.”

Sonnessa explained assign­ing the Yellow C” to more vir­gin olive oil is unac­cept­able and serves as a warn­ing sign to con­sumers versus pur­chas­ing the prod­uct.

However, Hercberg and Galan have very long argued that the Yellow C” is the greatest pos­si­ble grade for the ani­mal fat and veg­etable oils cat­e­gory.

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Nutrinform Battery

In a press launch, the Italian Agricultural Confederation (CIA) designed sim­i­lar remarks, advo­cat­ing in opposition to the adop­tion of Nutri-Rating and for addi­tional investigate into the alter­na­tive Nutrinform Battery label­ing plat­form, which is backed by the Italian gov­ern­ment.

The bat­tery labels,” as they are typically referred to as, had been offi­cially intro­duced in Brussels last January by the Italian gov­ern­ment.

Nutrinform’s pro­mot­ers like that the FOPL does not label food items as possibly excellent or bad, in its place show­ing the electrical power consumption and the nutri­tional val­ues of the selected foods item making use of a bat­tery graphic.

In their view, this rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the nutri­tional infor­ma­tion will help con­sumers under­stand how a spe­cific prod­uct can be part of a healthy diet program. On the other hand, Hercberg, Galan and lots of other professionals in Europe have expressed uncertainties about the effi­cacy of Nutrinform Battery and ques­tioned its sci­en­tific back­ground.

The European Fee is predicted to pick out one uni­form FOPL to be utilised across the 27-mem­ber bloc by the stop of 2022.