The Global Harmonization Initiative (GHI) is an international non-profit organization, a network of individual scientists working together to promote the harmonization of global food safety regulations and legislation. The organization engages and empowers food scientists in industry, government and academia to voice scientific consensuses and make recommendations on food safety laws and regulations, globally. GHI is an academic stakeholder of EFSA. Members of GHI, however, never represent their employers. Membership is individual and contributions to GHI are based on the scientific conscience of the members.
The Global Harmonization Initiative has a working group on food nutrition (GHIWGN) and could be considered as an impartial stakeholder regarding the food legislation harmonization process, at the EU and international level. The WGN, one of the organization’s 16 working groups would like to provide their expert view regarding nutrition labelling and nutrient profiles and health claims on foods.
Nutrition labelling needs to serve the final consumer in daily food selection towards healthier food choices for its particular age, gender, health status, preferences, eating habits etc.
The front-of-pack labelling needs to boost the fair global food industry and trade system development in direction of the better nutritional food compositions and tailored food formulation for special nutritional needs.
The present call is about a preliminarily consideration in implementing the EU harmonized front-of-pack nutrition labelling is related with the following GHINWG recommendations:
“a) they are based on sound and scientifically valid consumer research and do not mislead the consumer as referred to in Article 7;
(b) their development is the result of consultation with a wide range of stakeholder groups;
(c) they aim to facilitate consumer understanding of the contribution or importance of the food to the energy and nutrient content of a diet;
(d) they are supported by scientifically valid evidence of understanding of such forms of expression or presentation by the average consumer;
(e) in the case of other forms of expression, they are based either on the harmonised reference intakes set out in Annex XIII, or in their absence, on generally accepted scientific advice on intakes for energy or nutrients;
(f) they are objective and non-discriminatory; and
(g) their application does not create obstacles to the free movement of goods.”
The opinion of the GHIWGN is that all seven requirements need to be met for any harmonized mandatory front-of-pack nutrition labelling system.