In an interview with La Stampa daily, Italy’s Agriculture Minister Teresa Bellanova dumped the Nutriscore, a nutrition label that converts the nutritional value of foodstuff into a code of five letters.
According to her, this labelling wouldn’t provide full information to the consumer, who should know exactly what each food contains instead. Italians fear that Nutriscore would harm emblematic Italian products such as parmesan cheese and olive oil which will be labeled as “red”.
“We’re now buying some time at the EU level because we want to convince other member states to adopt our ‘battery’ label,” she said.
Before Bellanova, right-wing leader Matteo Salvini also bashed Nutriscore on several occasions, branding it part of a ‘secret plan’ conceived in Brussels that would ultimately damage the reputation of Italian food.
At the EU level, socialist and green MEPs have called for the signature of the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) “Pro-nutriscore” launched by some consumer associations, which aims to make the so-called Nutriscore mandatory for all manufacturers at EU level in order for it to be effective.
The new European Commission is expected to launch a proposal in this domain in the context of its new EU food policy. Nutriscore has been developed in France and is also being used in Belgium and Spain.
(Gerardo Fortuna | EURACTIV.com)