MEPs vote to scrap nutrient profiles in claims law

A key European Parliament Committee has voted to scrap the requirement that the Commission write nutrient profiles to bar foods high in fat, sugar and salt from bearing claims under the 2006 nutrition and health claims regulation (NHCR - 1924/2006).

Labelling, Health and Nutrition, Health Claims, Food Safety & Standards

EU Commissioner rejects mandatory labelling of food from clones’ offspring

EU Health and Food Safety Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis has come out against mandatory labelling of food from the offspring and descendants of clones, calling it “unnecessary, unwarranted and unworkable.”

Labelling, Food Technology, Cloning

New Danish liquorice labelling rules threaten children's health, say critics

For years, salty liquorice in Denmark flavoured with ammonium chloride has been marked as “adult liquorice – not children liquorice”. But now the requirement for such a label is disappearing, which is drawing criticism from several quarters, reports Danish national broadcaster

Labelling, Denmark

Norway: 12 of 40 companies with misleading halal-labelled food

The Norwegian Food Safety Authority conducts annual audit campaigns to check whether foods are labelled honestly. “No foods should pretend to be something that they are not, Therefore it’s disappointing that the audits repeatedly reveal poorly or misleadingly labelled food,” says authority section head Randi Edvardsen. Such was the case this time around in the category of halal products.

Labelling, Misleading Labels, Advertising

EFSA to say how it evaluates stunning methods at June meeting

The European Food Safety Authority will explain how it evaluates studies into differing stunning methods used during slaughter of food producing animals at a 9 June meeting in Brussels.

Policy, Animal Welfare

Commission seeking comments in probe into Danish fat tax

The Commission is asking for industry and other bodies to comment in an investigation it launched last month into whether Denmark’s so-called ‘fat tax’ was an illegal state aid under EU rules.

US bill aims to derail state GM food labelling

A bipartisan group of House of Representative members reintroduced legislation on Wednesday March 25 to block states from requiring labels on genetically modified foods and to set up a voluntary, federal GM food labelling standard, Food Chemical News reports.

Labelling, GM, Americas

Belgian court rules on milk/yoghurt alternatives

The Belgian Court of Appeal in Brussels has confirmed in its judgment of 10 March 2015 that Alpro is allowed to present its soy-based plant-based products as alternatives to yoghurt and other dairy products. However, according to the Court of Appeal, legislation should be interpreted such that Alpro is not allowed to describe its products sold in Belgium as "variation on dairy" or "plant-based variation on yoghurt" (in Dutch: “plantaardigevariatie op zuivel”, “plantaardige variatie op yoghurt”) but may refer to its products as "plant-based alternative to dairy" (in Dutch: “plantaardig alternatief voor zuivel”).

Labelling, Belgium

Proposals to change EU GM food approvals system by end April

The Commission will publish its much-awaited review of the EU’s current approval system for genetically modified organisms by the end of next month, European Health and Food Safety Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis promised this week.

Food Technology, Genetic Modification, Food Safety & Standards, Approval & Certification

Scant progress on novel foods but Commissioner to address MEPs

There has been little progress towards smashing the deadlock over cloning that is threatening agreement between the European Parliament and Council on the novel foods regulation, but EU Health and Food Safety Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis might be able to give MEPs the assurances needed when he speaks to the Environment, Health and Food Safety Committee on 26 March.

Food Technology, Novel Foods

Leave inspection fees up to Member States, say Conservative MEPs

British Conservative MEP Ian Duncan on 26 March urged the Commission to leave inspection fees up to Member States to set.

Food Safety & Standards

Quinoline Yellow intake below ADI, says EFSA

People’s consumption of the colour Quinoline Yellow (E104) is below the current EU safety limit, the acceptable daily intake (ADI) of 0.5 mg/kg body weight (bw)/day, whichever way exposure is calculated, according to the European Food Safety Authority.

Food Safety & Standards

Trio of health claims refused EU approval

Another trio of health claims have been formally rejected by the EU but as they have never been on the market in the 28 nation bloc, do not have a six month stay of execution, rather they simply never made it onto the European positive list of approved claims under the nutrition and health claims regulation (1924/2006).

Health Claims, Decisions

‘Suitable for diabetics’ labels not compatible with EU law

Foods labelled as ‘suitable for diabetics’ or with qualifiers such as ‘diabetic …’ before food names do not comply with EU law Member State officials have agreed.

Labelling, Health and Nutrition, Health Claims

Italian chocolate maker told to “tone down” marketing in Norway

Norway’s food industry advisory committee (MFU) has told Italian chocolate maker Ferrero, manufacturer of Kinder Chocolate and Kinder Egg, to tone down some of its “child-oriented” displays. MFU’s warning to Ferrero came in two recent decisions based on the food and beverage industry's own policies, which prohibit the marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages directed especially towards children under 13 years, writes Norwegian marketing website

Advertising, Children and Young People, Country Reports

Nutritionist calls on UK to make junk food at checkouts illegal

A university lecturer is calling on the UK government to make the placing of sweets, chocolate and crisps next to supermarket checkouts an illegal practice.

Advertising, Health, UK

EU soy, beef and palm oil imports linked to illegal logging

Some €6 billion in soy, beef, palm oil and leather imports into the EU in 2012 were grown or reared on land illegally cleared of forests in the tropics, according to anti-deforestation campaign group Fern in a report published on 17 March.

Traceability, Policy, Environment, Sustainability

Slovenia appoints its first “food ombudsman”

The Slovenian government has appointed Joze Podgorsek as its first food ‘ombudsman’, a post recently created by the agriculture ministry under the official title of ‘defender of relations in the food supply chain’.

Food Safety & Standards, Control Measures, Policy, Institutional, Upstream Downstream, Slovenia