Foodwatch makes serious allegations against the Federal Minister of Food

Foodwatch makes serious allegations against the Federal Minister of Food

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Is the Minister of Food hiding food traffic light studies?

For a long time now, consumer protection organizations have been calling for food labels to be more easily understood and referring to the so-called food traffic light (Nutri-Score), which has already been established in other countries. However, the Federal Minister of Food is not one of the friends of this system and has therefore concealed a positive study on nutritional labeling, according to Foodwatch.

From internal emails from the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) that Foodwatch are available, it appears that the Minister of Food Julia Klöckner (CDU) has withheld a scientific study which apparently gives a positive testimony to the “Nutri-Score” food traffic light. Foodwatch had access to the internal e-mails through an application in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (IFG). Among other things, the minister called for "greatest confidentiality" in dealing with the study results, apparently for the simple reason that they did not meet her expectations.

Reluctance to study results unacceptable

"It is unacceptable that Ms. Klöckner simply classifies a taxpayer-paid study by the state Max Rubner Institute as 'confidential' and refuses to publish it - and instead only publishes a revised version," emphasizes Luise Molling from Foodwatch. The internal emails indicate that the state MRI had already submitted a report to the BMEL in autumn 2018, in which various systems for labeling sugar, fat, salt and other nutritional values ​​were examined. The result was clear: The Nutri-Score traffic light based on the French model was rated as "fundamentally advantageous for a 'front of pack' nutrition label".

Revised version of the study published

The BMEL commissioned the study itself, but an internal note makes it clear that Minister Klöckner specifically asked to "ensure the greatest confidentiality." The Minister also pointed out that the MRI "only scientifically evaluates the traffic lights" and abstained from a political assessment. Half a year later, the Federal Ministry of Food published an apparently revised version of the study, the presentation of which at the beginning of April had Ms. Klöckner's reluctance to rate the Nutri Score and emphasized that surveys and other studies should be used to develop a model for nutritional labeling.

Original version of the study still under lock and key

When Foodwatch asked for the IFG application, the original MRI study on nutrition labeling was not published and the results have not been published to date. The Ministry merely referred to the version of the report presented by Ms. Klöckner in April 2019. "Politics based on science and facts, as Ms Klöckner has repeatedly emphasized, does not need scientific studies to be kept secret," emphasizes Luise Molling.

Publication of the original study results required

With reference to the Freedom of Information Act, Foodwatch calls on the Federal Minister of Food to immediately publish the original study results of the MRI and has launched a protest campaign in which citizens can join the demand. You can find more information at According to the Foodwatch, the food traffic light has already been successfully established in several European countries and in Germany manufacturers such as Iglo and Danone have already started voluntarily to label their products with a color system. However, the Federal Minister of Food apparently has little ambition to introduce this model in Germany in a timely manner. (fp)

Author and source information

Video: how to find new job fast. Ministry of National Food Security u0026 Research (January 2023).