Open Letter to AGRIFISH Council – Front of Pack Nutrition labelling

Call for a mandatory EU-wide Front of Pack nutrition labelling system with a public health mindset

On the occasion of World Food Day, as the European Commission’s conference on the EU Farm to Fork Strategy is ongoing, and ahead of the next AGRIFISH Council, ECDA together with four other health organisations and several MEPs issue an open letter to Ministers responsible for Agriculture to express their support for the adoption of a harmonised, interpretative and mandatory EU front-of-pack (FOP) nutrition labelling system and ask Ministers to put public health perspectives above trade considerations or regional/local business preferences.

Indeed, public health is the very reason for the Commission’s decision to put forward a proposal by end 2022. The Commission states in the Farm to Fork Strategy that it will propose such a scheme “to enable consumers to make health conscious food choices”. 

The letter follows the publication of a “non-paper” submitted in September by seven member states, for consideration by the Council, that raises serious concerns from a health perspective.

The signatories outline the following principles:

  • The future FOP labelling system should be mandatory for all EU member states
  • Interpretative FOP labels appear to be preferred to FOP informative labels
  • Exemptions will undermine the aim of the system to be implemented uniformly and consistently
  • Uniform reference values (e.g. per 100g or ml) should be indicated for all products
  • A thorough FOP labelling policy monitoring and evaluation programme should be put in place

The full letter is available here

Co-signatories: MEP Biljana Borzan, MEP Sarah Wiener, European Chronic Disease Alliance (ECDA), European Oncology Nursing Society (EONS), European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), European Public Health Association (EUPHA), European Patients Forum (EPF)