Discontent is organized in Occitania against the European Nutri-score, accused of stigmatizing regional products. However, UFC-Que Choisir reveals the opposite in a vast study carried out on around forty references. For the association, the argument is used by manufacturers in the region to “hide the low or even poor nutritional quality of their products”.
As soon as the announcement of the generalization of Nutriscore – this label which gives a grade from A to E to food products according to their effect on health – the producers of Occitanie had stepped up to the plate. Their fear: that regional products will be penalized by this rating imposed by Europe, and shunned by consumers.
For a year, concern has grown in Occitania
A year ago in our columns, Jacques Gravegeal, vice-president of the Regional Institute for Food Quality (Irqualim), was already anticipating the consequences. “This rating does not at all take into account the quality of our regional products which are natural and very little processed”. Same story on the side of the Cévennes. For Frédéric Monod, director of a cheese dairy, “consumers will favor industrial products that have a good rating, to the detriment of traditional products such as those made in Occitania”.
So, will regional food products really be stigmatized by the Nutri-score? Not in Occitania, if we are to believe one extensive study conducted by the regional branch of UFC-Que Choisir on 39 products. “Contrary to popular belief, two-thirds of food products from the Occitanie region get good marks with the Nutriscore”, specifies the association, which “urges agri-food professionals and their lobbyists to no longer denigrate this ranking. nutrition”.
Hide the low or even poor nutritional quality of their products
According to this study, 64% of the foods tested obtained a Nutri-score A, B or C, or a note materialized by the green or yellow color on the label. Apricot from Roussillon, cassoulet from Castelnaudary, veal from Aveyron, bull from the Camargue or chicken from the Gers are thus acclaimed by the European rating.
We find just after the olive oil of Languedoc, the tielles sétoises or the bush of sheep of Larzac, classified in note C, that is to consume with moderation.
A reliable ranking according to UFC-Que Choisir
For UFC-Que Choisir, the outcry of certain actors from Occitanie would in fact have intended to “hide the low or even poor nutritional quality of their products”. And the association gives the list of products classified D or E: Roquefort, several other cheeses, cakes… Or a third of the products tested.
“This classification operated by the Nutri-Score is perfectly justified since it reflects the high levels of saturated fat and salt present in certain cold cuts or certain cheeses, or the high proportion of sugar in desserts”, concludes the association. , who claims to have forwarded its findings to the European Commission.