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Nutriscore: Coi pleads the case of olive oil in front of EU

Executive Director Ghedira in videoconference with Commissioner Stella Kyriakides

Yesterday 22 March the executive director of the International Olive Council (Coi), Abdellatif Ghedira, met by videoconference the European Commissioner for health and food safety Stella Kyriakides, to discuss the Nutriscore issue.

The representative of the IOC, who was joined by Jaime Lillo, deputy executive director, and by Mercedes Fernández, the head of the Standardization and Research Unit, expressed the concern of the olive sector for the unfavorable classification that the Nutriscore private labeling system gives to the olive oil. He reminded the Commissioner that the EU, with 65% of total production, was by far the largest producer of olive oil in the world, and that as the EU member countries of the IOC are different, the Union he had always supported the promotion policy. He also stressed that all the promotion activities carried out by the Organization are based on the results of scientific research, which for several decades has demonstrated the health benefits of olive oil and the positive effect of its consumption in reducing associated mortality to many chronic diseases.

In turn, Kyriakides, summarizing the principles of the Farm to Fork strategy of the EU and her objective of promoting a healthy and balanced diet, and adding that the strategy includes the application of a labeling system that is harmonized, said she was fully aware of the specificities of olive oil, assuring Ghedira that these aspects will also be taken into account in the final decision.

The results of the public consultations and the conclusions of the European Food Safety Authority will be available in the coming weeks, and therefore no decision has yet been taken on the matter. We will have to wait until the end of the year for a legislative proposal to be presented.

And in this regard, the executive director of the IOC has also offered to provide the commissioner with the results of the aforementioned scientific studies, in order to support the upcoming decision on the classification of olive oil in the harmonized EU labeling system. Pointing out the importance of adequately explaining to consumers the nutritional properties and health benefits of olive oil, through clear labeling, and concluding that everything possible must be done to avoid confusion and penalization of this product, which it happens in the current Nutriscore system.

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EFA News - European Food Agency