Labeling of harmful products proposed in Russia

Dmitry Davydov proposes, as the WHO proposes, that the advertising of harmful products in the country be restricted and that they be banned from being sold in kindergartens, educational institutions and excluded from the school lunch program.

A photograph: Oleg UKLADOV

Manufacturers in Russia are proposing to require foods high in sugar, saturated fat, sodium and calories to be labeled. The author of “20 Ideas for Russia’s Development” Dmitry Davydov offers new effective measures to combat harmful products in the country.

Being overweight is a global problem

The problem of overweight must be addressed not only in Russia, but in the World Health Organization (WHO) is called global. In 1975-2016 the percentage of obese people in the world has tripled among adults, with almost seven times an increase recorded in children, while overweight is an important factor in the development of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, certain types of cancer and musculoskeletal disorders. by WHO.

To combat obesity, the WHO proposes labeling on the front of food packaging and minimizing the impact of unhealthy product marketing on children and adolescents. The most developed country in South America – Chile – was the first in the world to follow these recommendations.

As a result, total per capita calorie intake was reduced by 15%, sugar intake by 20% and saturated fat by 27%. After Chile, many countries began to label products, such as Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Canada and Israel. In Israel, by the way, they introduced a system of red and green labels. Reds indicate a high content of harmful substances and greens, on the other hand, confirm the recognition of the product as useful.

Marking is the right decision

Dmitry Davydov’s idea was supported by a general practitioner from Novosibirsk, a pulmonologist at the Expert Clinic, Valeria Ustimenko.

“The food labeling initiative will only positively affect the overall health of the population in the context of a worrying increase in diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity and dyslipidemia. “Patients with these diseases need to monitor not only their total calorie intake, but also the amount of fat, sugar and salt they consume,” he explained.

The label will really draw the Russians’ attention to the composition and encourage them to choose the least harmful products, and domestic producers will be encouraged to produce more useful products, as it will not be possible to hide the composition, the expert noted.

The introduction of the labeling of meat products has positive results, the doctor reminded. Many people are familiar with the “A”, “B”, “C”, “D” categorizations. “More and more often there are products that primarily emit their advantage – category” A “”, stressed the therapist.

The initiative of Dmitry Davydov was also considered useful by the candidate of medical sciences, member of the Legislative Assembly of the Novosibirsk Region, Yakov Novoselov.

“The offer is really interesting and, of course, useful,” he said, adding that before introducing the label, it is necessary to check the safety of the products and decide who will monitor their composition.

What they say to the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation

At the Russian Ministry of Agriculture, responding to a request from Dmitry Davydov, Deputy Director Vladimir Skvortsov replied that food placed on the territory of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) must be safe in accordance with the requirements of the EU.

They also added that Rospotrebnadzor, taking into account the analysis of the average daily consumption of food products in the country, has already developed a color labeling system based on the content of added sugar, salt, saturated fatty acids and trans isomers in some products. It is true that to use it or not, the manufacturers themselves have the right to decide.

“This color indication is voluntary and is intended to provide the consumer with more detailed and visual information about the content of individual substances in it,” said Dmitry Davidov, the ministry’s response.

The display system developed by Rospotrebnadzor reflects the system of red and green labels created by the Ministry of Health in Israel and, of course, is a step forward. However, it can only be really effective if it becomes mandatory, says the author of 20 Ideas.

“The food industry will not have a hard time introducing a warning label if a specific transition period is set. During this period, manufacturers will be able, subject to business, to review product compositions and re-release new packaging or labeled labels, as this is already their routine duty. “The Chilean experience was studied by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, which confirmed that the introduction of black and white labels on the front of the package and restrictions on advertising products with these labels did not reduce industry and jobs.” Dmitry Davydov answered.

In addition to introducing the label, Dmitry Davydov proposes, as the WHO proposes, that the advertising of harmful products in the country be restricted and that they be banned from sale in kindergartens, educational institutions and excluded from the school meal program.

Dmitry Davidov’s proposal needs legislative support. If the initiative is accepted, some tasks will be solved:

First, consumers will know that labeled products are dangerous to health.

Second, producers will be motivated to produce healthier foods.

Third, the frequency of food abuse will be significantly reduced.

The overall result will be an improvement in the health of the population and a reduction in mortality in the country.

Recall that earlier Dmitry Davydov concluded that the official sale of “very prestigious” short license plates could save billions of rubles in the budget.

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