The Brief: what's in a label?

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By Shona Murray, Greg Lory
The Brief: what's in a label?

The European Parliament wants consumers to be more aware of the nutritional quality of food and are introducing nutriscore.

This color tool is meant to help consumers when grocery shopping. Green MEPs and civil society groups want to make this label mandatory throughout the European Union in order for the scheme to become fully effective. A Citizens initiative launched a few weeks ago aims to convince the Commission to spread nutriscore across the EU.

"There is a growing interest that is coming to the fore and the Commission is obliged by the 2011 regulations to introduce a review process for nutritional food value, so why not propose the introduction of a mandatory nutri-score at European level? It would mean harmonizing so that all producers are actually subject to the same rules. And that's good for competition, the internal market and it's good for the consumers," says Monique Goyens from European Consumers organisation BEUC.

Some Member States have already adopted nutri-score According to studies, it is successful and producers, distributors and consumers are convinced that this is the way forward.

And also...

Climate Strikes around the world are the biggest protest movement this year. The Collins Dictionary has chosen Climate Strike as Word of the Year. And European Commission vice president Frans Timmermans used the occasion to restate his commitment to the fight against Climate change. He is the man tasked with the new Commission signature policy: the European Green Deal, aiming at achieving the first climate-neutral continent. 

Legal issues

The EU's top court rejected a decision from the European Parliament against Brexiteer MEP Nigel Farage that demanded a political group linked to him reimburse thousands of euros in EU funds.

The group was instructed in 2016 to repay almost 180 thousand euros after the European Parliament ruled it had misspent EU funds on Mr Farage's national campaign in Britain.

The Parliament said Mr Farage broke EU spending rules but the European Court of Justice has over-ruled this decision.