According to the World Trade Organization, the United States, European Union, Canada, and Switzerland have urged Mexico to delay the upcoming health warnings that it plans to place on heavily processed food and drinks. The Mexican standard will require front-of-package nutrition labels that state possible health risks of products that may be high in sugars, calories, salt, saturated and/or trans fat. The new labeling standard is set to be implemented this October and is meant to combat soaring rates of obesity in Mexico, which have surpassed those in United States, making residents of Mexico the most obese in the world. Several studies show that obesity in Mexico escalated to epidemic proportions after Mexico joined the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and the U.S. in the early 1990s. Last week, to help protect the next generation of Mexicans, the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca became the first to prohibit the sale, distribution, and advertising of junk food and sugary drinks to children. The U.S. delegation of the World Trade Organization stated that it supports Mexico’s public health goal of cutting back on diet-related non-communicable diseases. However, the delegation stated that the labels might be “more trade restrictive than necessary to meet Mexico’s legitimate health objectives.” As of now, the United States, Switzerland, Canada and the E.U. are resisting the October 1 implementation date. Read more here at Reuters.
Photo Source: Erick Schmal / MexicanElite