First Vice-President Frans Timmermans
Vice-President Jyrki Katainen
Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis
Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska
Brussels, 15 May 2017
Subject: Call for EU-wide nutrient profiles for nutrition and health claims
The undersigned civil society and private sector organisations want to express their support for the urgent adoption of EU-wide nutrient profiles for nutrition and health claims. In the fight against obesity, the EU needs to take action where it has the competences.
Without the underpinning of nutrient profiles, the EU’s legal framework for nutrition and health claims made on foods (Regulation EC 1924/2006) has been incomplete for the past ten years. We believe that this situation is unsustainable and needs to be rectified as soon as possible:
• The lack of nutrient profiles to underpin the ability to make claims risks misleading consumers about the healthfulness and nutritional attributes of products.
• The absence of EU-wide nutrient profiles undermines the level playing field that industry needs to compete fairly and to innovate for health.
With the unprecedented severity of the public health and nutrition challenges that Europe faces, we cannot afford to maintain a situation where the EU legal framework does not fully empower consumers to make the choices that are best for them and it remains uncertain for both consumers and food business operators. Nor can we ask food and beverage companies to invest in innovation for health and at the same time deny them the legal certainty and competitive level playing field that they need in order to make those investments.
We are concerned that the fitness check of the Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation that is currently under way will lead to further delay in setting the nutrient profiles – especially with the delays that this process encounters. We regret this; we had hoped that it could have provided an opportunity to finally solve this important issue, which has hampered the effectiveness of the EU legal framework for a decade without clear objective justification.
We call on the Commission to take decisive action by making a proposal for EU-wide nutrient profiles for nutrition and health claims without further delay.
The undersigned remain willing to contribute, provide our expertise and be part of the discussion.
The European Consumer Organization (BEUC)
European Heart Network (EHN)
European Public Health Alliance (EPHA)
The Coca-Cola Company