Fries healthier than a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Which, in turn, has the same value for the body as a heavily stuffed hamburger. It is one of the paradoxes of Nutriscore (the so-called “traffic light label” system created to alert consumers to foods with a high presence of fat or salt, supported at EU level by France) denounced by Unaprol – Consorzio Olivicolo Italiano – after the adoption of the traffic light label by some fast food chains in France (which join other chains in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and also in Germany).
French fries “awarded” with the B.
In detail, the Nutriscore nutritional labeling system is linked to the principle of “traffic light” communication, a color scale ranging from green to red associated with an alphabet (from letter A to letter E). “According to this system, the fat intake of a sandwich filled with meat and various sauces is worth the yellow light (letter C), just like extra virgin olive oil, while french fries even deserve the green light and a nice letter B. We are facing an unacceptable situation – underlines the president of Unaprol, David Granieri – a real organized attack against quality products that are the symbol of Made in Italy, in defiance of any scientific evidence, as well as common sense. We cannot accept that a product, symbol of the Mediterranean Diet, unanimously considered a natural drug for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities, is debased ». Hence the invitation to the government, Minister of Agricultural Policies Stefano Patuanelli, Italian parliamentarians in Brussels “to strenuously fight this system designed only to damage Italy and its most important products”, Granieri’s conclusion.
The minister’s no
However, Minister Patuanelli’s no to Nutriscore is already clear. And it was also reiterated today upon arrival at the EU Agriculture Council: “We have some bilateral plans, in particular with the French minister Julien Denormandie in view of the rotating presidency of the first half of 2022: one of the topics we will address will be that on the Nutriscore because we have to clarify that our position cannot be mediated, maximum opposition to putting a color on food“. “Thinking of giving a value to food with a standard portion of 100 grams – added the minister – is absurd in terms, because I do not consume 100 milliters of olive oil with the same frequency with which I drink 100 milliliters of Coca-Cola . It is evident that this is the case: it makes no sense to put a label on food ». «The Nutriscore – the minister concluded – being similar to a traffic light is a very immediate communication system but« does not give correct information »to the consumer and therefore it is a wrong tool, while the Nutrinform Battery is a more complex tool: we can improve it. There is a way to improve it and make it easier to read, but the consumer needs to be informed, not conditioned ».