One year after the approval of the Frontal Labeling, it is hardly seen on the shelves.
27 Oct 2022
There were 2,658 extension requests for the implementation of warning seals and 35% of the requests were approved.
One year after the enactment of the Law for the Promotion of Healthy Eating, some of the changes that this initiative came to modify and promote have already begun to be seen.
Two months ago, very modestly, you can find on some packaged food products the front labeling of black octagonal seals that warn of excess fat, sugars, sodium and calories, whose maximum values must comply with the limits of the Nutrient Profile of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
“It is a law, it is not only access to health, but also access to information. It is a law that seeks to expand rights. The search for information does not fall in this way on the individual responsibility of people, but is now part of the role of the State, through a public policy,” explained Erica Bianquet (M.P. 1,282), a Nutritionist, who is a member of one of the working commissions of the Association of Nutritionists of the Province of Buenos Aires.
Thus, the law aims to guarantee the right to health and adequate food and to provide clear, simple and understandable nutritional information on packaged foods and alcoholic beverages in order to protect the rights of consumers. It also seeks to prevent malnutrition in the population and reduce chronic non-communicable diseases and to warn about the so-called “critical nutrients”.
However, Bianquet also warned that today the implementation of front labeling is in a gray area, since some companies requested a postponement for the adequacy, which was granted, but it is not known how many and which companies were benefited.
“Two requests for access to information have been submitted and in both cases they responded that this information is confidential. Thus, society does not know whether food products should not carry the black octagons, or are reached by the extension or, directly, are in breach of the law,” said the nutritionist.
The initiative is not limited to the implementation of front food labeling. This is a comprehensive law that also regulates other aspects related to improving environments. In this sense, it prohibits all forms of advertising, promotion and sponsorship of packaged food and alcoholic beverages that contain at least one warning seal, especially those aimed at children and adolescents.
Thus, their packaging may not contain children’s characters, cartoons, celebrities, athletes or mascots, nor be accompanied by gifts, prizes, presents or any other promotional element that may guide and/or define the purchase or choice of these foods.
The regulation also provides for the inclusion of minimum contents of food and nutrition education in the initial, primary and secondary levels of the 60,000 schools throughout the country to consider the educational environment as a space, promote healthy eating and encourage the acquisition of skills that help children and adolescents to improve their eating practices in a sustainable manner.