The legal battle between butchers and the app that allows consumers to assess the quality of their products is experiencing a new twist.
This Friday, the
, distributed by Le Mont de la Coste, got the better of Yuka, sentenced by the Brive-la-Gaillarde court to 20,000 euros in damages for "
" of products containing nitrites.
Read also The Yuka application again condemned for criticizing nitrites
Cornered by three successive complaints from charcuterie companies, the application is accused of deceiving the consumer by denigrating products based on nitro additives, widely used in charcuterie.
For her part, Yuka, who allows consumers to scan food barcodes to assess their composition, defends her information role and accuses the meat industry of protecting its financial stakes.
The Brive commercial court issued its decision this Friday morning: the application is condemned for "
unfair, deceptive commercial practices and acts of denigration in the dissemination of information on nitro additives
Yuka decided to appeal this decision.
Three ongoing proceedings
Yuka is not his first conviction. On September 13, the Aix-en-Provence court condemned the application to pay 25,000 euros in damages to the cooked ham specialist ABC Industrie who felt that its products had been denigrated by the consumer service. The two companies which took Yuka to court last June are members of the French Federation of Industrial Butcher's Caterers (FICT), the third plaintiff to have the application condemned in May 2021 for the same reasons.
The application firmly fights additives based on nitrites, this antioxidant used in cold meats as a preservative and at the origin of this pink color that we know well. Decried as a "probable carcinogenic" substance by the WHO cancer research center, the additive is the subject of much debate on the risks it entails for health. A parliamentary information report was published in January 2021 to denounce these controversial additions. Allied to the Foodwatch association and the League against cancer, Yuka has put forward a petition from the application aimed at removing added nitrites from industrial meats, a practice deemed denigrating by manufacturers and blocking the purchase of the product.
On the side of the FICT, "
there is no risk if the consumption is reasonable,
" defends President Bernard Vallat. The president recalled that European regulations set a maximum intake dose of 150 mg of nitrites per kilo of cold meats, ie three slices of ham per week. But
68% of French people exceed the maximum quantity of cold meats recommended by Public Health France,
”suggests Julie Chapon, the founder of Yuka. “
The fact that a substance is authorized does not mean that it is good for health,
” she defends. "
Industrialists and public authorities have a duty to ban substances like this and apply a precautionary principle
Read also Food accounts for more than a third of greenhouse gas emissions
For the time being, the application is forced to remove the link to the petition from its application and the mention of the WHO opinion in the product indications, for lack of a factual basis deemed "
" by the Brive court.
On the other hand, "our
rating system is not called into question, the nitrites remain displayed in red with a penalty of 30 points
", notes Julie Chapon.
The application has decided to appeal the three procedures, case to be followed ...