Food labelling. On October 16, to coincide with World Food Day, a draft standard on “The Right to Healthy Food, Access to ‘Informed Information’ and Food Labelling” was presented to the Mercosur Parliament. The goal of the report is to promote the harmonization of domestic legislation in the mandatory implementation of food labelling among member states. Debate on the proposal, which if approved will have to be ratified by members, is expected to start at the next Parlasur plenary in November.
The document establishes, among other points, that the labelling to be incorporated on the front of packaged products must focus on communicating excessive quantities of critical ingredients (sugars, sodium, total fat, trans fat and saturated fat), and not give rise to the mistaken perception by the consumer that a food with excessive quantities of those components is healthy.
Furthermore, it proposes regulating the advertising of foods, which should not induce or promote dietary habits harmful to health and/or ascribe an inaccurately higher or different nutritional value to industrialised foods. According to the draft, States should also promote the consumption of organic fruits and vegetables from family agriculture and promote healthy environments, both in public and private educational institutions and in care centers.
The Parliament of Mercosur received a draft bill to incorporate a food labelling scheme that clearly and visibly indicates excessive amounts of sugars, sodium, total fat, trans fat and saturated fat. It is expected that the draft will begin to be debated in its plenary session in November.