Argentina – Update to the list of enzymes authorized as technology adjuvants

By Joint Resolution 12/2022 (RESFC-2022-12-APN-SCS#MS) amends Article 1263 of the Argentine Food Code, which will be worded as follows: “Article 1263: The enzymes allowed as technology adjuvants for use in the food and beverage industry are those listed in the following table:

Argentina – Amendments to the Food Code on fishery and aquaculture products

According to Joint Resolution 11/2022 (RESFC-2022-11-APN-SCS#MS), Article 271 of the FAC shall be replaced and shall be worded as follows: “Article 271: Fishery and aquaculture products are understood as all those products coming from the capture and/or culture, of vertebrate and aquatic invertebrate animals, commonly designated with the name of fish (both bony and cartilaginous), shellfish (mollusks and crustaceans), amphibians and any other edible invertebrate animal, except aquatic mammals, and reptiles.

The labeling of packaged aquaculture products intended for the final consumer, whether preserved by refrigeration (chilling or freezing), smoking or salting, should state that the product is farmed.

Article – A policy study on front–of–pack nutrition labeling in the Americas: Emerging developments and outcomes

Poor nutrition is one of the leading causes of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), especially in the WHO Region of the Americas (AMRO). In response, international organisations recommend front-of-pack nutrition labelling (FOPNL) systems that present nutrition information clearly to help consumers make healthier choices. In AMRO, all 35 countries have discussed FOPNL, 30 countries have formally introduced FOPNL, eleven have adopted FOPNL, and seven countries (Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela) have implemented FOPNL. FOPNL has gradually spread and evolved to better protect health by increasingly adopting larger warning labels, contrasting background devices for better salience, using “excess” instead of “high in” to improve efficacy, and adopting the Pan American Health Organization’s (PAHO) Nutrient Profile Model to better define nutrient thresholds. Early evidence illustrates successful compliance, decreased purchases and product reformulation. Governments still discussing and waiting to implement FOPNL should follow these best practices to help reduce poor nutrition related NCDs.

PAHO – Adoption of front-of-pack nutrition warnings can help decrease obesity, cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes and some cancers in the Americas

The adoption of best practice front-of-pack nutrition labeling in more countries of  Americas can help reduce poor-nutrition related non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure and some cancers in the region, a recent study led by researchers at the University of Nevada, Reno and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) suggests.

The study, published today in the Lancet Regional Health Americas, examined the evolution of these policies within the PAHO/World Health Organization Region of the Americas (AMRO).

Improvements to front-of-pack nutrition labeling (FOPNL) included larger warning labels, contrasted background for better noticeability, use of “excess” instead of “high in” to improve understanding, and adoption of PAHO’s nutrient profile model to better define nutrient thresholds. FOPNL systems aim to aid a population’s understanding of nutritional content in a product, reduce consumption of ultra-processed and processed food products high in fats, sugars and/or salt, and ultimately help consumers make healthier choices.

Opinion – CARICOM’s front-of-package labelling conundrum

It has been four years since the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) began discussions on the adoption of a front-of-package labelling system to protect population health in the region. As a public- and global-health lawyer, I can confidently characterise this process as one that has only legitimised and prioritised the interests of private actors to the detriment of society.

For starters, the private sector has recently secured a privileged seat and further strengthened its power with the designation of the Caribbean Private Sector Organisation (CPSO) as an Associate Institution of CARICOM. This has, of course, facilitated corporate capture by giving them high-level policymaker access to lobby and delay the process of the adoption of a front-of-package nutrition labelling system. This additional avenue of participation, which is not available to other interested parties, such as regional civil society organisations, has fostered an unequal power imbalance that challenges the foundations of democracy and is at odds with public health policymaking best practices.