Paris (AFP)

Several European consumer organizations are launching a petition Monday to ask the European Commission to make mandatory the Nutriscore, a "simplified nutritional labeling having proven its effectiveness" on food products, and which is starting to be adopted by manufacturers.

Already implemented in France since the autumn of 2017, but optionally because of the current European regulations, as well as in Belgium and Spain, this labeling system is based on five letters (A, B, C, D, E) and a color code, from green to red, depending on the nutritional quality of the food.

Due to its optional nature, it "hardly develop in the shelves," said in a statement the French association UFC-Que Choisir, at the origin of the petition with six others: Test-Achat (Belgium), VZBV ( Germany), Consumentenbond (Netherlands), OCU (Spain), Federajca Konsumentow (Poland) and EKPIZO (Greece).

Assuming that "the poor nutritional quality of too many industrial foods is (one) one of the main causes of high rates of obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes", and that "the complexity of the tables (...) appearing on the packaging results in 82% of the consumers do not understand them ", these associations decided to act.

"One million signatures are needed for the Commission to answer: so, to know what we eat, protect our health and encourage industries to improve the composition of their products, together, require the Commission to make Nutriscore mandatory," they urge.

According to these associations, several national and international studies have emphasized that Nutriscore is "the most effective simplified nutritional labeling" to help consumers in their daily food purchases.

? 2019 AFP