Commenting on the European Parliament vote to scrap nutrient profiles, Dr Judith Bryans, Chief Executive of Dairy UK, said:
"This is excellent news and a welcome shift towards holistic nutrition policies in the EU. When considering nutrition and public health, it is too easy to forget that consumers do not eat nutrients, they eat foods. Unfortunately, policies which target individual nutrients often lead to a misunderstanding of the total value of whole foods. It is therefore essential to consider the nutritional impact of whole foods and their role in a healthy and balanced diet instead of singling out 'good' or 'bad' nutrients.
"Products such as fruit yogurts or hard cheeses are rich in calcium and high quality protein and provide a range of vitamins and minerals. Even so, most of them risked falling foul of a nutrient profiling scheme based on individual nutrients. Yet, a nutrient-poor product like a diet soft drink would have passed the profile although it provides no nutritional benefits whatsoever.
"We need to look at the big picture when it comes to nutrition policies and start looking at dietary patterns as a whole. Over the last few months, we worked hard to get this point across to MEPs and we are absolutely delighted by the outcome of this vote."
Members of the European Parliament voted to scrap nutrient profiles with 402 votes for and 285 against, as part of the vote on the Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT).
Recital 47 states that the European Parliament "calls on the Commission, in view of the serious and persistent problems which arise in the implementation of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods, including problems of distortion of competition, to review the scientific basis of this regulation and how useful and realistic it is and, if appropriate, to eliminate the concept of nutrient profiles; considers that the aims of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006, such as ensuring that information which is provided concerning foods is true and that specific indications are given concerning fat, sugar and salt content, have now been achieved by Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers."