Nutri-Score, which uses colours from red to green and an A to E scale to classify food based on their nutritional profile, has been earmarked as a template from which the new label will be developed.
However, recently it has been the subject of doubts by the scientific community and has faced open opposition of some countries, led by Italy.
"Nutri-Score is one of the front-of-pack nutritional labelling systems, and there are several of them, but this does not mean that our system will be based on Nutri-Score," explained Roser Domenech Amado, acting director of 'One Health' of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Health and Consumers.
According to press reports, France, Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg are pushing for Nutri-Score, while Spain and the Netherlands are working on 'corrections' to the colour label.
Elsewhere, the system is strongly opposed by Italy, with support from other EU members including Sweden, Denmark and Lithuania.
Concerns Over Nutri-Score Labels
Italian farmers lobby group Coldiretti has said that the postponement confirms the concerns about the colour label expressed by Italy and other countries.
It claimed in a press release that Nutri-Score is ‘a misleading, discriminatory and incomplete labelling system that paradoxically ends up excluding from the diet healthy and natural foods that have been on the tables for centuries in favour of artificial products whose recipe is not even known in some cases.’
Coldiretti further pointed out that traffic-light labelling systems focus exclusively on a very limited number of nutrients (e.g. sugar, fat and salt) and on energy intake without taking portion sizes into account, paradoxically excluding 85% of Italian products with denomination of origin, ranging from virgin olive oil to Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.