Paraguay – Modification of Resolution GMC Nº 40/15 “MERCOSUR Technical Regulation on cellulosic materials, containers and equipment intended to be in contact with food”

The National Institute of Food and Nutrition (INAN in Spanish) publishes for public consultation the draft amendment to Resolution GMC No. 40/15 “MERCOSUR Technical Regulations on cellulosic materials, packaging and equipment intended to be in contact with food”.

Article – Employment and wage effects of sugar-sweetened beverage taxes and front-of-package warning label regulations on the food and beverage industry: Evidence from Peru

Peru increased its sugar-sweetened beverage tax by 8 percentage points (from 17% to 25%) in 2018 and in 2019 imposed front-of-package warning labels on processed and ultra-processed foods and beverages high in sugar, saturated fats, and sodium or containing trans fats. We assess the pre-COVID-19 impacts of these two policies on aggregate formal employment and average wages in the food and beverage industry. In the analysis we use monthly administrative data from the Ministry of Labor in Peru for 127 manufacturing industries from January 2016 through February 2020 and pair an interrupted time series analysis with the synthetic control method. Overall we find that the sugar-sweetened beverage tax increase and the front-of-package label regulations did not result in job or wage losses. These results are consistent with outcomes from previous studies that have separately looked at the effects of sugar-sweetened beverage taxes (in the United States and Mexico) and front-of-package label regulations (in Chile). Our key contribution is that we assess the effects of both policies for the same country. Consistent with the global literature, our findings suggest that, due to industry substitutions and other actions, employment and wages were not impacted even in industries affected by both policies in a short time. The lack of job and wage losses in the Peruvian experience, the scope of the country’s policies, and the form of implementation can advise other countries engaging in similar reforms.

Dominican Republic – Government launches National Plan for Food and Nutritional Sovereignty and Security 2023-2026

The Ministry of the Presidency (MINPRE) led this Thursday the launching of the National Plan for Food and Nutritional Sovereignty and Security 2023-2026 and the election of the national representative of the SSAN Network, Erick Dante Papaterra.

Delivering the keynote address, the Minister of the Presidency, Joel Santos Echavarría, said that the scope of this national plan is focused on the adoption of new approaches and the incorporation of comprehensive and innovative solutions, to make the national food system more sustainable and thereby also stimulate the existence of an environment of food and nutritional security in line with citizens’ expectations.

The plan presents a programmatic structure composed of five components: Governance, Food Availability, Access, Food and Nutrition, Climate Change and Risk Management. Each component has lines of intervention and lines of action.

Uruguay – Ministry of Health issued more than 500 fines for non-compliance in mandatory food labeling

The Ministry of Public Health (MSP) has already fined more than 500 companies for failing to comply with proper food labeling.

Mandatory food labeling, with octagons warning of excess sugars, fats, saturated fats or sodium, was approved during the Frente Amplio government. The current administration postponed its application and it finally came into force in February 2021.

Mexico – NOM-051: These are the new provisions that will come into force on March 8

NOM-051 establishes the requirements for the advertising of food and non-alcoholic beverages in Mexico, with the objective of promoting healthy eating and preventing obesity and other diet-related diseases.

Last September, Mexico’s Ministry of Health published the decree reforming two regulations governing the front labeling and advertising of prepackaged food and non-alcoholic beverages.

The modification aims to:

– Harmonize the regulations with the new specifications of the front labeling system.

– Prohibit the use of characters, animations, cartoons, celebrities, athletes or mascots, interactive elements. Such as visual-spatial games or digital downloads in the advertising of prepackaged food and non-alcoholic beverages that exceed nutritional criteria and contain warning seals and/or precautionary statements.