Obesity is increasing worldwide and in many countries, the problem is particularly serious among lower income groups. To fight obesity, front-of-pack nutritional warning labels are a prominent regulatory tool that have been implemented or are currently debated in many countries. Existing studies document that warning labels incentivize consumers to substitute away from unhealthy products. However, not much is known about equilibrium price changes in response to consumers’ utility for warning labels. Using household purchase data in the cereal category, this paper studies the adjustments of prices after the mandatory introduction of warning labels in Chile. The authors develop a model which shows that warning labels lead to higher prices of labeled cereals, as is also observed in data. In contrast, prices of unlabeled products tend to drop or at least increase less, incentivizing price sensitive consumers to remain in the category. The authors decompose post-labeling market share adjustments into a pure label effect that fixes prices at initial levels after regulation and a total effect that accounts for price re-optimizations. Their findings point to self-enforcing effects of a warning label regulation as the price adjustments amplify the policy-maker’s goal of reducing unhealthy nutritional intake, especially because market forces incentivize low-income segments to choose healthier alternatives.
Article: The right to food: What do the constitutions of America and the Caribbean say?
Many American and Caribbean countries consider the right to food as constitutional right. Chile does not have this explicit right in the Constitution.
To describe comparatively how the right to food is explicit in the constitutions of American and Caribbean countries, generating inputs for those countries that do not have this constitutional right, such as the case of Chile.
This research was carried out on platforms: Food and Nutritional Security (SAN-CELAC), Right to Food in the World (FAO) and Constitute Project which presents constitutions of the world.
A revision was made of all available constitutions of American and independent Caribbean countries, dependent territories and overseas departments in the Region. Subsequently, in those countries which explicitly consider the right to food in constitutional texts, a review of general characteristics and right to food-associated concepts, suggested by FAO, was carried out. The review was carried out between June and September 2020.
Of the total of countries reviewed (n= 42), 40.5% presented the right to food in constitutional text. The most frequently associated concept was food security.
Most of the revised constitutions accompany the right to food with food safety, availability and accessibility characteristics, and include kinds of judicialization, concepts that should be incorporated into the new Magna Carta of Chile.
Brazil: ANVISA changes presentation format on opinions of the food area
The National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA in Portuguese) informs that it will adopt a new format for publication of minutes in the Official Gazette (DOU in Portuguese), in the processes of registration, post-registration and evaluation of the Food area. It should be noted that the change will also include requests for alteration, revalidation and cancellation of these products.
In this regard, it is important to clarify that, as of next Monday (16/5), these publications will only contain essential information for the identification of the request before the Agency: company name/CNPJ, product name, procedure number, registration number, subject of the request and file number.
Brazil: Guide to questions and answers on post-publication of food petitions
The National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) has just published the first edition of Questions and Answers: requests after publication of requests for evaluation in the food sector. The document clarifies 10 frequent doubts about the procedures that companies can adopt after the publication of the Agency’s decision on the evaluated request.
The publication provides guidelines such as requests for correction of opinions, consultation panels and publications in the Official Journal of the Union (OJU). It is important to clarify that the instrument is indicative, it is only for decision, it does not make changes to the current regulations.
Spain: New nutritional labeling: an opportunity for olive oil
The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food points out that harmonization in a single EU front nutritional labeling will help to ensure consumer safety and to highlight the health properties of olive oil.
The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, has expressed the need to recognize the health properties of olive oils in the future front nutritional labeling of the European Union (EU), which will be mandatory and equal for all Member States in the near future, to convey to the consumer all the information with the greatest possible clarity and solvency.