The Nutri-Score, first implemented in 2017, has become almost systematic on food packaging. Objectively ? Inquire about the nutritional quality of the products we consume. But can we really trust this labeling? For Eric Morain, criminal defense attorney at the Paris Bar, the answer is no.
Will the Nutri-Score be mandatory by the end of the year? As a reminder, this food labeling system was created by Public Health France, at the request of the Ministry of Solidarity and Health. It consists of 5 colors (from dark green to red) and 5 letters from A to E, which warn of the presence of “good” nutrients, such as protein or fiber, as well as “bad” nutrients, such as salt, sugars and saturated fatty acids.
But the Nutri-Score would be misleading for both Éric Morain and the producers of AOP (Protected Designation of Origin) cheese. Indeed, he would prefer ultra-processed foods rich in industrial additives and texturizers, rather than local products that are naturally fatty. “The Nutri-Score of 90% of cheeses, including Roquefort, is classified as “D” or “E”. Ultra-processed industrial products with preservatives can have A or B”Condemns Sébastien Vignette, Secretary General of the General Confederation of Ewe’s Milk Producers and Roquefort Industrialists (CGPLBIR), of Alsace†
“The Nutri-Score is no guarantee of quality”
So the calculation method of Nutri-Score does not take additives into account and that is the cause of the problem. In reality, this labeling merely translates “the nutritional composition of the products in a simple way”, as the designer, Serge Hercberg explains.
“The Nutri-Score is no guarantee of quality and does not necessarily encourage favorable eating behaviour.”
Eric Morain shared his dissatisfaction France Inter† Here are some excerpts:
“The truth is that the obligation of such labeling therefore does nothing to improve food education. It’s a scam. Another. Like the big junk food industries know so well how to set up.”
“It’s a real deal to make the quality of processed industrial products greener without any consumer information about portion size. The note is based on a portion of 100 g or 100 ml: you never eat such an amount. Nutri-score misleads consumers just as much as manufacturers mislead Nutri-score.”
“Yes, I say it over and over, Nutri-score tends to penalize PDOs and other virtuous sectors rather than encourage a qualitative approach. His view is not holistic and does not care about the health benefits of the products.”
A spicy and welcome diatribe.