AM State Secretary: a uniform EU nutritional labeling system is needed

By: STA Date: 2022. 12. 09. 11:36

Confusion is caused by the oversupply of nutrition labels on food packaging on the EU market, which is why the European Commission (EC) would introduce a harmonized system (FOPNL), which is also supported by Hungary, the Secretary of State responsible for food industry and trade policy of the Ministry of Agriculture (AM) said in Budapest on Friday.

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Márton Nobilis emphasized at the professional forum series of the Nutrition, Lifestyle, Exercise Platform (TÉT) that the new nutrition labeling system should not be a disadvantage for traditional foods, and that the eating culture of each member state must be taken into account in its design. He also added that the new system cannot mislead consumers, it must work for the sake of the single internal market and equal competition and must be voluntary. The ministry, together with the TÉT Platform, conducted research with the involvement of about 4,000 Hungarian households, the results of which can help to create optimal EU regulations, he noted. The survey revealed that despite their price sensitivity, Hungarian consumers look for quality food and pay a lot of attention to the sugar and carbohydrate content of food. The research – in line with the experiences of the National Food Chain Safety Office (Nébih) – clearly pointed to an increase in consumer awareness. Many people consider the current regulation to be useful, although the visibility of the letters on the products would be improved, and it would be necessary to facilitate the interpretation of the indicated information, he said.

Ildikó Fazekas, the president of the TÉT Platform Association, also spoke about the fact that consumers often do not understand the markings, which is why he called education in this area important. The representative research was carried out with the participation of 3288 households, 44 percent of the surveyed consumers were satisfied with the information shown on the labels, 88 percent of them can easily interpret it, 62 percent take into account the nutritional content, and 44 percent believe that they can easily interpret the meaning of the indicated nutritional value.