The Americas – MERCOSUR: Health ministers meet to discuss Trans Fatty Acids and Front-End Labeling

The first meeting dealt with the progress made by the countries in relation to the Policies implemented for the elimination of Industrially Produced Trans Fatty Acids from the Food Chain (TVFA in Spanish) and future actions to be taken in order to adopt and implement regulatory mechanisms for the elimination of TVFA from the food chain in the Americas.
On the second day, the country delegations presented their Policies and Strategies implemented on physical activity in the school environment, and progress regarding Front Labeling for packaged foods.

The Americas – Argentina: Regulations of the Law for the Promotion of Healthy Eating are published

The regulation of Law No 27,642 on Promotion of Healthy Eating was published in the Official Gazette through Decree No 151/2022.

The Decree describes that the use of front labeling with black octagonal graphic warning system on packaged products “turns out to be the most visible, understandable, clear and effective to identify critical nutrients in excess, transmit a greater perception of health risk and a better performance to reduce the intention, both of consumption and purchase in the Argentine territory”.

The Decree describes that the use of front labeling with a black octagonal graphic warning system on packaged products “is the most visible, understandable, clear and effective way to identify critical nutrients in excess, to convey a greater perception of health risk and a better performance to reduce the intention of both consumption and purchase in the Argentine territory”.

Relevant aspects

  • The criteria of the nutrient profile model are set according to the following cut-off points for critical nutrients (added sugars, saturated fat, total fat and sodium) and/or sweeteners and/or caffeine and/or calories, according to values proposed by PAHO, and other types of warnings such as the presence of sweeteners or caffeine.
Cut-off points for critical nutrients, sweeteners and caffeine
  • Within its scope are included the market players that manufacture, produce, process, fractionate, package, entrust to package or manufacture, distribute, market, import, that have put their brand or integrate the value chain and marketing of food and alcoholic beverages for human consumption” throughout the country.
  • Processed foods and beverages must bear black octagons of at least 5% of the size of the main face of the container when its composition exceeds a minimum threshold in each of these components.
  • Commercial premises or points of sale, whether physical or online” are also obliged to comply with the law.

The Americas – Mexico: Draft amendment to implement front labeling of transgenic products

Congresswoman Celeste Sánchez Romero (PT) presented an initiative to reform several provisions of the General Law on Health and Biosafety of Genetically Modified Organisms, with the purpose of guaranteeing the consumer’s right to information, through front labeling.

He stated that the information contained in the labels must be truthful, objective, clear, understandable, precise and useful for the consumer, in order to allow identifying at a glance the content of transgenic products.

In a press release, he stated that Mexico has a severe delay in the front labeling of transgenic products, which have a strong impact on the health of those who consume them, when they are consumed over a long period of time.

The Americas – Argentina: Risks and opportunities of front labeling

The Argentine Government passed Law 27.642 on the Promotion of Healthy Eating, better known as the Front Labeling Law, and the 90 days from its enactment on November 12 are already running for its regulation by the Executive Power.
The implementation of the Law implies changes in all food producing companies, what remains to be seen is who will be able to strategically capitalize on this opportunity to promote changes and improvements in current systems in order to optimize internal processes.

The Americas – Venezuela: Front labeling guidelines for sugar, saturated fat and trans fat published

The purpose of the new Resolution (Nº 137 – Official Gazette 42.271) is to establish the guidelines that will complement the labeling of manufactured foods for human consumption, by placing a front label on the packaging label, in order to provide the final consumer with additional information about the sugar, saturated fat, and trans fat content in manufactured foods.

Manufactured foods with an added sugars, saturated fats and/or trans fats content added sugars, saturated fats and/or trans fats, equal or higher than the established, manufactured before the publication in the Official Gazette of this Resolution and during the first thirty-six (36) months after its publication, may be marketed until the expiration date thereof, using the labeling they have at the time of their distribution and commercialization.