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On information regarding the nutritional quality of foodstuffs

Avis en anglais  (401 ko)

Date du document : 25/06/2015

Date de mise en ligne : 23/11/2015

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In the European regulation EU 1169/2011 (INCO regulation) regarding consumer information on foodstuffs, the article 35 provides, under various conditions, the possibility for Member States to recommend to food business operators to use, on a voluntary basis, one or more forms of expression or presentation using graphics or symbols in addition to the mandatory nutritional declaration. These forms of expression aim to facilitate the consumer’s understanding of the important role that foodstuffs play in their diet.
In the scope of the project of a new law on health, the French ministry of health requested that the High Council for Public Health (Haut Conseil de la santé publique - HCSP):

  1. determine, by a public health analysis, the most relevant cut-offs of the British Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) nutrient profiling system score so as to categorize foodstuffs into five classes. These cut-offs should direct the population towards more nutritionally balanced food choices,
  2. provide a global assessment of the relevance of the different nutrient profiling systems (nutritional scores) used in the world, according to their feasibility and to their relative interest in terms of public health, and estimate, in the light of the data from the international literature, if the use of such nutrient profiling systems have not led to further inequalities in nutrition.

The HCSP recommends:

  • A concise nutritional information system using a five colour scale based on the FSA score be implemented and based on the optimized thresholds and the adjustments he has defined and tested, ensuring a good fit with the recommendations of the French national program nutrition and Health (PNNS).
  • The final labelling format be created using a universal design approach so as to make it accessible to the whole population. A strategy be developed providing support and information for healthcare, social and educational professionals and the public.
  • To use of the concise nutritional information system be taught to all pupils as part of the health education curriculum in schools
  • To set up a monitoring and evaluation system be implemented so as to measure the impact on consumers and businesses.

This opinion is completed with two technical annexes  (french version)

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