Judge Fernando Silva García labelled food labelling “regressive” and “unfavorable” after it emerged that the NOM regulating Mexican food labelling -NOM-051-SCFI/SSA1-2010- does not comply with international standards recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The NOM was established by COFEPRIS in February 2016, under the leadership of Mikel Arriola, now head of the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS). One of the main issues with the labelling NOM is its recommend daily amounts of sugar. While the WHO recommends only 50g of sugar consumption per day, the Mexican NOM places the limit at 90g.
The following modifications have been requested: distinction between natural and added sugars, for the limit of added sugars to be reduced to 50g and for warnings to be displayed should the amount in a product exceed this and the health risks that poses.
In the recent 2016 Health and Nutrition National Survey (ENSANUT) revealed that nearly three quarters of Mexican consume sugary beverages at least three times a week yet 61.3 percent of the population considers their alimentation to be healthy. Food labelling is vital for the population to understand what they are consuming yet despite this: 44.6 percent of the population reports that nutritional labelling on food is little comprehensible or incomprehensible. In one of the most overweight and obese countries in the world, confusing consumers is indeed counterproductive.