Two-thirds of French regional food products are rated well by the Nutri-Score, with an A, B or C rating, UFC-Que Choisir assures in a study released Tuesday, while the labeling system is regularly attacked by manufacturers who believe these products are fined.
“Contrary to the speeches of the lobbyists in the corridors of Brussels, who give several examples, we understand that in a much larger sample, Nutri-Score favors regional products,” Olivier Andrault, who is in charge of food policy at the consumer association, told AFP.
UFC-Que Choisir local chapters selected 588 prescription products from their region for review. A total of 26% are rated A, 13% are rated B, and 23% are rated C.
Among the 120 A or B rated foods that are therefore recommended for their nutritional qualities, about a third are fruits and vegetables such as red apricots from Roussillon or lamb salad from Nantes (AFP/Archive – Fred TANNO)
Among the 120 A or B-rated foods that are therefore recommended for their nutritional qualities, about a third are fruits and vegetables, such as red apricots from Roussillon or lamb salad from Nantes. There are also 34 types of meat and poultry and 30 ready-to-eat dishes such as Auvergne roasts or Castelnaudary cassoulets.
The Nutri-Score, introduced in 2016, is now optional in France, but the European Commission plans to make nutrition labeling mandatory by the end of 2022, and a French score may be chosen.
This choice is disputed by some industrialists, who accuse it of infringing on regional products such as cheeses, about 90% of which are in classes D and E.
So last October, the Roquefort interprofessional association petitioned for an exemption from this labeling system, and the Minister of Agriculture, Julien Denormandy, took a stand in the process, proposing to “revise the methodology” of Nutri-Score.
In his study, UFC-Que Choisir counted 25% of products rated D and 13% of products rated E.
“This is not about banning these products, but only that, given their high content of fat, salt or sugar, they should be consumed more reasonably,” says Olivier Andrault.
The consumer association also notes that some Franche-Comté olive oils or cancuyote are rated C, giving them an edge over other oils and cheeses that are typically rated D or E.