Brazil: Nutrition labeling: new rules to take effect in 75 days

The new rules for food labeling come into force on October 9, 2022. In addition to changes to the table of nutrition information and claims, the novelty will be the adoption of front-of-pack nutrition labeling.

Front-of-pack nutrition labeling

Considered the major innovation of the new regulation, front-of-pack nutrition labeling is an informative symbol that must appear on the front panel of the package. The idea is to clarify to the consumer, in a clear and simple way, the high content of health-relevant nutrients.

Article – Ecuador: Traffic-light Nutrition Labeling Preferences among Ecuadorian Children

This study evaluates the effect of traffic-light (TL) nutritional label attributes on Ecuadorian children’s food choices. Data was collected from a survey of 1,179 Ecuadorian students attending public middle and high school in three major cities located in the southern region of the country (Machala, Loja, and Zamora). The survey instrument included two sets of choice experiments: one with yogurt products and the other with soft drinks (sodas and juice). In the choice scenarios, children were presented with two products that differed in price and the TL label colors for sugar, salt, and fat. Children’s product selections in the choice experiments were analyzed using mixed logit models. Results indicate that children are willing to pay increasing premium levels for products with yellow, green, and “does not contain…” labels compared to products with red labels. Overall, study findings offer evidence that TL labels are effective at helping children make food choices consistent with preferences for food products with TL labels representing healthier alternatives.

Chile: Decree for fortification of milk and wheat flour with vitamin D

The Ministry of Health published Decree 48, which modifies the Food Sanitary Regulation (RSA in Spanish) in favor of vitamin D fortification.

The decree modifies the RDA, obliging that all milk, liquid and powdered, and flour produced or marketed in Chile must be fortified with vitamin D3.

  • Liquid/fluid milk: A single dose of 1 µg/100ml, which may be exceeded by up to 40%, reaching 1.4 µg/100ml.
  • Powdered milk: A single dose of 10 µg/100g, which may be exceeded by up to 40%, up to 14 µg/100g.
  • Flour shall be fortified with vitamin D3, cholecalciferol, of vegetable or animal origin, in a minimum amount of 2.25 µg/100g, which may be exceeded by up to 40%, reaching a level of 3.15 µg/100g.

The decree will enter into force 24 months after its publication in the Official Gazette, on July 6, 2024.

Brazil – Article: The Brazilian State has assured the human right to adequate food for people with celiac disease?

Introduction: By assuming adequate food as a social right, the Brazilian State became the bearer of the duty to respect, provide, promote and protect the Human Right to Adequate Food (HRAF) for all Brazilians, including celiacs. Therefore, it is essential that the State institute a normative apparatus compatible with the needs of the celiac population, guaranteeing the fulfillment of their rights. Objective: to assess whether the legislation in force in Brazil meets the demands of people with celiac disease. Methods: document analysis was adopted according to the methodology proposed by Pimentel. The set of documents analyzed is composed of all publications found that express the demands of celiacs, including: articles, manuals and complaint letters from representative bodies. Results: The incipience of legal instruments was observed, aggravated by the fact that a significant portion of the demands of the celiac population has not yet been covered by the current set of regulations. The legislation in force expresses the existence of specific initiatives in some Brazilian states and municipalities, which do not cover the entire national territory. This situation does not comply with the principle of universality that governs the HRAF, compromising the demand for compliance and reparation by public bodies for the celiac population. Conclusion: due to the punctual and incipient nature of the Brazilian legal apparatus, it remains predominantly the responsibility of civil society, individually or through representative associations, initiatives that guarantee the realization of the Human Right to Adequate Food for celiacs.

Ecuador – Article: Organic Law of Ecuador’s Food Sovereignty Regime

Ecuador adopted the concept of food sovereignty as a policy framework, being the first country to recognize food sovereignty in the current Constitution and later as the Food Sovereignty Law (LORSA in Spanish). However, food security is also addressed in the general and national framework.
The LORSA, in its Article 1, indicates that this Law aims to “establish mechanisms through which the State complies with its obligation and strategic objective of guaranteeing individuals, communities and peoples the self-sufficiency of healthy, nutritious and culturally appropriate food on a permanent basis”.