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.
“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.
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.