Consumption will implement a color labeling of food that will report its nutritional quality

The Minister of Consumer Affairs, Alberto Garzón, has announced this Friday in the Senate that his department is going to implement "for the first four months of 2021" a "voluntary" labeling by food colors that will inform of its nutritional quality.

The system finally chosen will be the so-called Nutriscore, made in France and consisting of a color code (associated with letters) that goes from green to red according to the assessment of saturated fat, sugar, salt, calories, fiber and protein per 100 grams of product. It is the one that have already announced that they are going to adopt Germany and Belgium.

Garzón has pointed out that the protection of food health is "one of the central elements for this ministry", and has pointed out that the indicators of obesity in the Spanish child population are "devastating", especially by social class, since it is "much higher "in the most disadvantaged and less educated families. He trusted that "the vast majority of companies" end up implementing it given the "awareness" that exists in this area.

In February, in his first appearance in Congress, Garzón already announced that one of the lines of work of his department would be to implement a frontal labeling of food products, after the Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition (AESAN) was attached. a Consumption.

Finally, this system has been chosen, similar to the one that classifies the energy efficiency of household appliances or homes, which although "not perfect" yes "very suitable". Some companies in Spain, especially French ones, have already voluntarily adopted it, according to Garzón.

In principle, it will be voluntary, because the EU so establishes it, but the intention of Spain is, together with the other three countries that have opted for the Nutriscore system, to press in Brussels to make it "mandatory," according to Garzón, that it has appealed to the "correlation of forces" of those countries so that it is not optional.

Advertising of baby food

During his first appearance as minister in the Senate, at his own request and from different parliamentary groups, to report the general lines of his department and the consequences of the coronavirus crisis, Garzón has also announced a "reinforcement" of the PAOS Code of Self-regulation of advertising for food and beverages aimed at minors.

The intention, according to sources familiar with the measure, is to tighten that code by raising the age of action of that code, aimed at minors up to 12 years old, which would rise to 15 years. Another measure being considered is to prohibit the participation of famous people in the advertising of unhealthy foods for that segment of the population.

The goal, Garzón has said, is to avoid advertising "lack of control" with baby food. The minister has said that the objective is "to agree everything", but he recalled that, despite the voluntary nature of the self-regulation codes, the Government has "the prerogative to be able to act in preservation of the health of the minor", and has trusted that "the whole" of the food industry supports this tightening.

The minister has also insisted on his willingness to adopt "fiscal instruments, which have to do with encouraging, not collecting", in food matters, through a system "that makes healthy products more attractive because they are cheaper", to the detriment of others that are not, such as sugary drinks or ultra-processed foods.

Regarding the publicity draft of the game, Garzón has insisted that after the "lessons" of the state of alarm the ministry is going to "improve and strengthen it" and the new text that will be sent again to the European Commission "in the coming days" It will be more like the regulation that was in force during the state of alarm (much more restrictive) than the one that was drawn up at the beginning of the year.

Garzón, who has defended that Spain "has been at the forefront in adopting measures to protect the most vulnerable people," has reviewed some of the measures adopted by his department during the pandemic, such as the complaint filed by Consumption before 17 airlines for refusing to refund the amount of canceled trips, a "conflict" that it has acknowledged remains open, or warnings from its department about the "illegality" of charging a supplement or "covid rate" in certain establishments.

Also the "successful" limitation of the maximum prices of gels and masks at a time of "stress" in international markets and "elements of pure and simple speculation". "Facing many predictions made by many economists who said it would cause a shortage" and parliamentary groups that predicted a "worsening" of the crisis, today, the producers of this material "continue to earn money" and those products are even sold at "lower" prices than those set.

According to the minister, during the pandemic "there has been no increase in food prices" with a "speculative nature" that "compels" his department to "act".


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