Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, expressed regret at a call from a majority of colleagues in the European Parliament to scrap a food information concept known as nutrient profiles.
Nutrient profiling is endorsed by the Word Health Organisation to determine whether food producers can claim their products to be healthy.
Ms. Childers, a member of Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee, contends with the majority view that food information provided to consumers is adequate without nutrient profiles.
Speaking from Strasbourg after this week’s vote on a position on better law-making, Ms. Childers said:
“This is a sad example of what pro-industry conservatives mean when they talk about reducing bureaucratic burdens for business and streamlining law-making in the EU.
“This sort of discourse ends up being used to cover pushes to de-regulate or stall progress in regulation in the public interest.
“Consumer information was the target in this case. While this was not a legislative vote, it sends a loud pro-food industry message from Parliament.
“Just because there are EU law provisions on health claims and food labelling, which always suffer a barrage of sniping from global food conglomerates, this does in no way mean that we are providing clear and useful information to our citizens when they choose food products.
“We mustn’t allow products that are high in salt, sugar or saturated fats to be promoted as healthy just because producers added some vitamins to make the claim.
“This is not a call for better regulation. It is yet another nod to the peddling of junk in shiny packaging.”