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The European scientific community against the NutriScore

"It has no scientific basis and risks confusing the consumer"

Reaffirming the unscientific nature of the NutriScore, demonstrating the lack of arguments in support of the measure and highlighting well-established studies that have always highlighted the weaknesses and threats of the NutriScore.
This is the mission launched during the conference "Science Vs Ideology - Beyond NutriScore" organized by Competere.eu, the European think tank promoter of the scientific discussion platform on sustainable nutrition, which saw the participation of two scholars, Dr. Francesco Visioli of University of Padua and Dr. Ramon Estruch, of the University of Barcelona.

Why is NutriScore not scientifically valid? These are some of the main points that emerged during the discussion: the algorithm used by NutriScore is arbitrary and can be easily manipulated, generating the paradox that healthy foods such as those that are part of the Mediterranean diet would prove harmful. Nutrients contained in foods are arbitrarily rated, leading companies to tweak ingredients for higher scores and favoring highly processed foods. The proposed distinction between positive and negative foods goes against the scientific literature, neglecting the nutrient's impact on the overall diet.

"The NutriScore contains many defects as it mixes energy, food and nutrients, does not evaluate the quality of proteins, fats and carbohydrates and does not highlight positive aspects such as the high density of nutrients, minerals and vitamins, or the content in bioactive compounds. Finally , does not take into account the degree of workmanship", said Dr. Ramon Estruch. "NutriScore presents an approach that goes against the recommendations of the vast majority of nutritionists. It focuses on individual foods and nutrients rather than the concept of diet; it ignores the concept of portions, preferring to indicate values per 100g; it does not help the consumer to understand which nutrients can be positive or negative. In this way olive oil scores lower than that of a carbonated soft drink", said Dr. Francesco Visioli.

"The system puts at risk not only an inestimable social and economic heritage such as made in Italy agri-food, but also the well-being of European citizens", concluded Pietro Paganini, president of Competere.

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EFA News - European Food Agency
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