GENERAL ASSEMBLY, 68th SESSION, HIGH LEVEL MEETING ON THE COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW AND ASSESSMENT OF THE PROGRESS ACHIEVED IN THE PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF NON-COMMUNICABLE DISEASES, 10 JULY 2014.
On 10 July, Ms. Sabrina De Camillis, of the Italian Permanent Mission to the United Nations, took part in a high-level meeting aimed at assessing the achievements in the fight against non-communicable diseases (NCDs). She underlined that Italy was the first European country to enact a rule prohibiting smoking in enclosed workplaces and public places, as well as a country where selling tobacco and alcoholics to minors is forbidden. Highlighting the fact that the fight against NCDs passes through the promotion of a healthy lifestyle rather than through thoughtless food-labelling, she said:
I underline with proud that the Mediterranean diet has been included in the World Heritage list of UNESCO.
The demons that must be fought are not individual ingredients, but bad habits. It is necessary to teach people that they must eat the right quantities and diversify portions. Equally, I deem it correct to avoid food-evaluation systems based on nutritional values or, even worse, on pictorial representations that unjustifiably focus on the composition of the single product, irrespective of the ways and frequency of consumption. […]
In the same vein, she added a note that made implicit reference to the precautionary principle:
We must set the primary role of interventions based on lifestyles as a criterion, reject elements that are not supported by scientific evidence, involve the population by making it protagonist and aware of its own choices through public sensitisation campaigns. […]
The full text of the statement (in French) can be found here.