EconomyFinancialEmails reveal Nestlé tried to prevent anti-scrap labeling in...

Emails reveal Nestlé tried to prevent anti-scrap labeling in Mexico: LeMonde

A Non-Governmental Organization in Switzerland revealed in one of its reports that the transnational company Nestlé tried to prevent its products sold in Mexico from having the label that warns the consumer about excesses in some ingredients, published the French newspaper Le Monde.

The NGO Public Eye published a report on July 1 detailing that the Swiss government was “instrumented” by Nestlé to pressure the Mexican authorities, and avoid this measure, although in the end it did not prevent the application of labeling on its products.

How did Nestlé push to avoid anti-scrap labelling?

The pressure from the company that offers canned food -among other things- towards the Mexican government began to be exerted after the proposals for warning stamps were announced in October 2019, until their approval in March 2020.

“It was during this period that Nestlé tried to modify the content of the new regulations with the support of the Swiss authorities,” according to the French newspaper publication.

On November 15, 2019, an employee of the transnational sent an email to an interlocutor of the Swiss Ministry of Economy (SECO), where he requested “help” and “recommendations” on how to deal with the situation.

The electronic text argued that Nestlé was supposed to guide SECO in its diplomatic exchanges with the Mexican authorities.

The email was accompanied by an argument from Nestlé that was supposed to guide SECO in its diplomatic exchanges with the Mexican authorities.

Likewise, it described this measure as too “restrictive”, and affirmed that it would cause “unnecessary fears” among consumers.

The author of the NGO report, Laurent Gaberell, explained that the company also considered that more than one billion euros in sales of Nestlé products were at risk due to the new labeling that finally came into force in March 2020.

What does the labeling on the products warn about?

The Mexican authorities approved, among other points, the following:

1. Any food or food product that in its nutritional composition contains calories, sodium, sugars or saturated fat in amounts greater than those established, or has added sodium, sugars or saturated fats, and its content exceeds the value established by the Secretariat of Health, you must label through a warning label, the characteristic or characteristics in which it exceeds the established value.

2. The way to highlight the nutritional characteristics will be by labeling a warning label: an octagonal symbol with a black background and white border, and inside it the text “high in”, followed by: “saturated fat”, “sodium”, “sugars” or “calories”, in one or more independent symbols, as appropriate. The letters must be white.

In October 2020, Mexico joined Chile, Peru, and Uruguay as the only countries in Latin America that use this type of label as a measure to combat problems such as overweight, obesity, and diabetes.

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