UNESCO Chair Global Health and Education Health Education, Prevention, Health Promotion, Children and Young People

Joint letter from European public health and consumer associations to the EC on the future front-of-pack nutrition label for Europe

European public health and consumer organisations[1] wrote a letter on December 19th, 2022 to Frans Timmermans (Executive Vice President for the European Green Deal), and EC Commissioners Kyriakides (DG Health) and Wojciechowski (DG Agri) to express their concern about the revision of EU consumer information regulation.

They highlight their concerns regarding a potential delay for this important legislation and regret that the debate around front-of-pack nutritional labelling is becoming increasingly polarised and less grounded in scientific evidence or public health concerns

They recall the key criteria for the future EU nutrition logo to meet consumers’ needs and guide them towards healthier choices, namely it should:

  • be mandatory;
  • be based on sound scientific evidence from independent research;
  • provide simplified nutrition information using interpretive colour-codes;
  • be based on uniform references amounts (100g or 100ml);
  • allow comparison of products according to their amounts of critical nutrients (saturated fat, sugars and salt);
  • be seen as a complementary tool to consumer education and dietary recommendations.

Wherever possible, it should be tested in real-life supermarket conditions, and especially for consumers from lower socio-economic groups, who are most at risk of overweight and obesity.

The signatories of the letter highlight that there is a significant body of independent scientific evidence to show that interpretative colour-codes are most effective in helping consumers to understand and easily compare the nutritional value of food products, especially for consumers from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

All these criteria are combined in the Nutri-Score, a color-coded interpretative front-of-pack nutrition label.

Download the letter here

Read the Nutri-Score blog

[1] The European Heart Network “EHN”, the European Public Health Alliance “EPHA”) and consumers associations (the European Bureau of Consumer Unions “BEUC”). EPHA brings together 89 public health organizations in 21 European countries; EHN, 28 national associations and foundations dedicated to cardiovascular diseases; and BEUC, 46 independent consumer associations.