the Yuka app wins appeal against butchers

Sentenced at first instance for “disparagement to prejudice” butchers, the Yuka application, which offered consumers to sign a petition to ban nitrites, won its case on Wednesday, June 7, before the Paris Court of Appeal.

With the Foodwatch consumer ociation and the League Against Cancer, Yuka is participating in a campaign for the removal of potium E249, sodium E250, sodium E251 and potium E252 nitrates contained in charcuterie. The petition, offered to app users when they scanned a product on the shelf, garnered more than 450,000 signatures, according to Yuka.

It was the establishment of a direct link between nutritional information and a militant approach that had led the pork butchers to take legal action, believing that Yuka had thus been guilty of a “call for a boycott”.

Judging this practice “disloyal and misleading”, the Paris Commercial Court had therefore estimated on May 28, 2021 that Yuka “ committed acts of denigration to the detriment” of the Federation of Industrial Butchers and Caterers (FICT).

Freedom of expression

The Court of Appeal, relying on the documents produced by Yuka, estimated on Wednesday that “the reality of a subject and a public debate of general interest on the health consequences for consumers of the use of nitro additives in processed meats (…) so the offending allegations about the Yuka app (…) fall within the framework of a subject of general interest”. In December, the Aix-en-Provence Court of Appeal also ruled in favor of Yuka.

“There does not result from the allegations complained of any call for a boycott”adds the court in its decision, pointing out that the petition “does not aim to boycott any product but tends to demand the banning of added nitrites in food”and that she “must be protected under the right to freedom of expression, of which no abuse is characterized”.

It also reverses the judgment of first instance on the responsibility it had attributed to the Yuka application in terms of unfair and misleading commercial practices and condemns the federation of charcutiers to pay 60,000 euros to Yuka for legal costs.

“Today, the Court of Appeal recognizes that the purpose of Yuka is to inform the consumer in order to allow him to choose the best products for his health, and that the latter is protected by freedom of expression”welcomes Yuka in a press release.

The World with AFP

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