MEPs make the Nutri-Score compulsory on advertising media

The Assembly made Thursday February 21 compulsory the display of the “nutri-Score” on all advertising media for foodstuffs as part of a BIA law proposal entirely rewritten by the majority. The deputies unanimously adopted the text tabled by the rebels within the framework of their “parliamentary niche”, but only on the basis of amendments of the majority.

“You have repealed all of our articles. We are leaving here with the” nutri-Score “, we will be satisfied”, commented disillusioned Jean-Luc Mélenchon wondering if the vote of a text emptied of its substance was part of a new majority strategy.

The main measure adopted relates to the mandatory display on advertising media for food of the “Nutri-Score”, a graphic scale which classifies food products into 5 categories, according to their nutritional qualities. For “advertising messages on the internet, television or radio, the obligation will only apply to messages sent and broadcast from French territory and received on this territory”, specifies the text, adopted against the advice of the government.

Advertisers may however derogate from it through a contribution allocated to the National Public Health Agency. The entry into force of the measure is set for January 1, 2021 at the latest to give professionals time to adapt.

Report on the evolution of nutritional quality

Other amendments defended by MP Blandine Brocard (LREM) were also adopted. The first obliges the agro-food industries to transmit to the food observatory data relating to the nutritional labeling of their products.

It provides for the submission of an annual report to Parliament on the evolution of nutritional quality and, on the basis of these data, the setting by the National Food Safety Agency of reduction thresholds for salt, sugar and unsaturated fatty acids for the products most consumed by the French.

A third amendment specifies that food education must necessarily be integrated into school education and remains optional for extracurricular activities. Finally, a last renamed the text, initially intended “to protect the population from the dangers of junk food” into a bill “aimed at improving the nutritional quality of food and encouraging good dietary practices”.

Reduce the impact of food advertising on young people

The rebellious bill initially intended to regulate the distribution of industrial food responsible for chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, overweight, obesity or certain cancers.

It proposed to authorize the placing on the market only of additives appearing in the list of organic foodstuffs and to lower the levels of salt, sugar and fatty acids in processed foods.

The text also aimed to reduce the impact of food advertising on young people and advocated the establishment of one hour of nutrition lessons per week in schools and colleges. The last three texts of this parliamentary day dedicated to the LFI bills were not examined by the Assembly due to lack of time.

The first aimed at “the establishment of a support fund for artistic creation”, the second the “creation of a free public driving license” and the last “the prohibition of the European system of posted work on national territory. “.

(With AFP)