The debate on better food labelling on packaging continues lively. Now, Federal Minister of Food, Agriculture and Forestry Julia Klöckner has announced a consumer survey on the question. And the frozen food manufacturer Iglo has left the association in the dispute over the Nutri Score issue, after the Foodwatch organisation had presented a study on this.
This summer, the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection plans to launch a consumer survey in which four to five labelling systems for food packaging will be available. Commenting on the current debate on nutrition labelling, Federal Nutrition Minister Julia Klöckner said: “The debate on better labelling of the nutritional values of foods is currently driving many people around. This is understandable, it is about everyday decisions in which everyone can and wants to have a say, because we all have to eat and drink. Better visualisation of nutritional values on the front of packaging should provide consumers with quick, true and meaningful orientation. It is therefore important to me to arrive at a decision in favour of extended nutrition labelling by means of a comprehensible procedure. I deliberately want to involve consumers in this. After all, it is about them. Let them tell us what they think”.
The Max Rubner Institute of the Ministry has already evaluated existing systems for nutrition labelling. In addition, the Institute is currently working independently on its own model to bridge the gap between the positions. “As soon as the scientists have officially presented this, we will have it evaluated by consumers in the summer with about a handful of other systems – including Nutri-Score and the model of the food industry,” continues Klöckner.
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The Foodwatch organisation presented a study in mid-May according to which the Nutri Score food traffic light – a system from France – is the most comprehensible nutrition labelling for consumers in Germany.
The Hamburg Regional Court had issued a temporary injunction stopping the labelling of the frozen food manufacturer’s packaging with the Nutri Score labelling system. The opponent of nutrition labelling in the legal dispute is the Munich-based Schutzverband gegen Unwesen in der Wirtschaft e.V., which wants to ban voluntary nutrition labelling on packaging using iglo as an example. Iglo appealed to the Higher Regional Court in Hamburg and left the central association of the German food industry BLL in the dispute over the correct food labelling.
Regardless of which labelling system is chosen: The national states can then only introduce it on a voluntary basis. Under European law, a country may not force everyone, including foreign producers, to apply the respective system. The reason for this is a lack of uniform European regulations. These are only available for the nutrition table on the back of the pack.