N° 16 | December 2016

Food labeling


Gradation of solutions in food labelling?

The increased burden of obesity and other diet-related diseases all around the world,
concomitant with the industrialization and globalization of the food chain, pushed
many public health authorities to regulating the information delivered to the final
consumer through food labelling, at least for pre-packed foods. The three papers in
this issue of the Global F&V Newsletter illustrate different aspects of the topic ranging
from factual (neutral) information, still very diverse despite the efforts of the Codex
Commission towards international harmonization (Padilla), the proposal of Front-ofpack
synthetic notation of food nutritional quality on the basis of nutrient profiling
(Julia), to the suggestion of more stringent regulation of nutritional aspects of some
types of food promotions (Jahns). Though all these aspects still require more research
to better refine the definition of healthy diets and the characterization of the nutritional
quality of a given food, public health managers should not wait for a definitive scientific
answer (which likely will never exist) about what could be the best and the most
efficient tool: there is currently enough available knowledge (as shown in this issue as
examples) in many countries to already implement reasonably improved regulations
in food labelling/promotion beside neutral basic information… with a reasonably
expected efficiency if they are part of a more global nutrition-health policy.

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