Fish can have voluntary date of catch label, says Commissioner

EU Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki has stressed that producers have a right to use voluntary ‘date of catch’ and the ‘date of harvest’ labels for fishery and aquaculture products, respectively.

Labelling

EFSA criticised over handling of uncertainties in BPA opinions

The way that the European Food Safety Authority’s Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids (CEF) has handled uncertainties thrown up by studies on bisphenol A (BPA) in a draft opinion was criticised at a meeting in Brussels this week. EFSA hosted the 23 April meeting to look at comments received during a consultation on January’s draft opinion on human health risks as well as on the July 2013 draft opinion on exposure.

Food Contact Material

EFSA working groups to probe weight of evidence and adverse effects

The European Food Safety Authority is launching two new working groups under the remit of its Scientific Committee to look into the weight of evidence approach and adverse effects.

Procedure, Food Safety & Standards

EFSA proposed new limit for BPA questioned

The European Food Safety Authority’s proposal that the upper safety limit for the controversial food contact chemical bisphenol A (BPA) should be lowered tenfold came under fire this week both by those who want to keep the current tolerable daily intake (TDI) and those that thought it should be reduced even further.

Food Contact Material

MEP says food firms also at fault for overuse of plastic bags

MEP Judith Merkies has argued strongly that the food sector must also take responsibility for overuse of plastic bags.

Environment

MEP presses Commission on French tax on Belgian beer

In the final week before the European Parliament disbanded for the elections, Belgian Socialist MEP Marc Tarabella pressed the Commission about its plans for tackling what he said was a discriminatory French tax against beer from Belgium.

World Cup promotional labelling generates Brazilian controversy

Concerns over labelling associated with World Cup 2014 emerged as products linked to Brazil’s obesity problem, including beer, candy, ice cream, and soft drinks, led the way in aligning with the games.

Labelling, Americas

Latin honey exporters welcome European labelling reprieve

A sigh of relief emerged from Latin American honey producers on 15 April when European parliamentarians approved an initiative that circumvents a GMO labelling mandate by defining pollen as a constituent of honey, rather than an ingredient.

Labelling, GM, Food Technology, Genetic Modification, Americas

French Parliament passes bill on GM maize ban

The French National Assembly, the country's lower house of Parliament, has passed a bill prohibiting the cultivation of genetically modified maize, Agrow reports. The action follows a ban by the Ministry of Agriculture last month on the sale, use and cultivation of Monsanto's GM insect-resistant MON810 maize.

Food Technology, Genetic Modification

Academic hits out at under-appreciation of technology

A leading US academic has hit out at what he called “fear marketing” on new technologies based on “shaky science and poor economics.”

Food Technology, Internationalisation

Cost of implementing food safety rules severely underestimated, industry claims

FDA economists have grossly underestimated the cost to industry of complying with the Food Safety Modernization Act's (FSMA) preventive controls rule, and food companies may need to shell out 20 times more than the FDA predicted to comply with the FSMA rule, Food Chemical News reports.

Food Safety & Standards, Americas

EFSA welcomes dialogue at BPA event

The European Food Safety Authority has welcomed what it said was “the wide ranging and constructive dialogue with more than 60 stakeholders as part of a follow up meeting to discuss the Authority’s draft opinion on bisphenol A (BPA).”

Food Contact Material

Foods are not medicines, says UK MEP about EFSA claims assessments

British Liberal MEP Chris Davies has lashed out at the way the European Food Safety Authority assesses health claims based on tough levels of scientific substantiation, telling Executive Director designate Bernhard Url that “foods are not pharmaceuticals.”

Health Claims, Policy

Reference to diabetes in supplements advert sparks complaints

Supplement maker Vitabiotics has come under fire following complaints that advertisements for its product Diabetone implied the product could treat or cure diabetes.

Health Claims, Advertising, UK

Easter egg packaging linked to bullying sparks Brazilian recall

Controversy swirls around packaging for Bis Xtra + Chocolate Easter eggs sold in Brazil, which contain sticky labels with derogatory terms that concerned parents associate with bullying. 

Advertising

Reduced saturated fat claim upheld by advertising body

The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has rejected a complaint about a television advert that claimed that Quorn mince contained 80% less saturated fat than lean beef mince.

Advertising

Url backs greater EFSA cooperation with other agencies

The Executive Director designate of the European Food Safety Authority, Bernhard Url has called for greater cooperation between EFSA and other agencies in both the EU Member States and internationally.

Harmonisation, Internationalisation, Policy

Ombudsman backs MEPs on beefed up lobby register

The EU Ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly, has backed European Parliament calls for a strengthened transparency register for lobbyists.

Policy, Institutional