Clarification: Six months stay of execution for organic labelling proposal

The Commission has given a stay of execution to the organic labelling and production proposal, giving the Council and European Parliament six months to reach a deal or it will be culled.

Labelling

Cloning threatening to sink novel foods law again

The question of labelling food from clones and their offspring is threatening to scupper an EU deal over novel foods, despite the Commission’s efforts to leave cloning out of the December 2013 proposal through two separate bills on food from clones and cloning.

Food Technology, Cloning

Key parliamentary committee backs GMO-banning deal

The European Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee has approved the 3 December agreement on a future directive allowing Member States to ban the cultivation of genetically modified organisms on their territories, even if authorised at EU level.

Food Technology, Genetic Modification

Spain: Citrus juices "dramatically undervalued" for decades

The antioxidant activity of citrus juices has been dramatically undervalued for decades, since the key role of the gastrointestinal system on the cleavage of antioxidant structures within the juices was overlooked, according to new paper published by a team of researchers from the University of Granada. The results suggest that tables on the antioxidant capacities of food products currently used by health authorities may have to be revised.

Food Safety & Standards

DG SANCO acronym gives way to DG Santé on 1 January

The acronym DG SANCO – for the Commission’s directorate general for health and consumers – is to cede officially to the new moniker DG Santé (French for health) on 1 January.

Institutional

Member States split over mandatory fees for official controls

Member States are split over the Commission’s May 2013 proposal that there should be mandatory fees for all food business inspections, with a waiver for micro-firms employing less than 10 people, the Italian Presidency told this week’s Agriculture Council.

Organic labelling and school fruit on Commission "kill list"

The Commission has included proposals to merge the EU’s school fruit and milk schemes and on organic labelling on an 80 strong ‘kill list’ of measures it is to withdraw in launching its 2015 work programme on 16 December.

Labelling, Health and Nutrition, Policy, Environment, Sustainability, Health

EU report on COOL due in early 2015

A series of feasibility reports on country of origin labelling for various food products, due by 13 December, will now be published early in 2015 the Commission assured farm ministers this week.

Labelling, Country of Origin, Food Safety & Standards, Policy

Member States back GMO banning deal

EU Member States have given the go ahead to a deal that the Italian Presidency struck with European Parliament and Commission representatives last week, allowing them to ban cultivation of genetically modified organisms on their territories.

Food Technology, Genetic Modification

Calls for mandatory GM labels “based on emotion not science”

Critics of mandatory labels for genetically modified foods found a sympathetic audience at a House hearing on Wednesday, as both Republicans and Democrats on the panel voiced scepticism of the need for the federal government to require such labels.

Labelling, GM, Food Technology, Genetic Modification, Americas

Two cases of highly pathogenic bird flu strains confirmed in US

Cases of bird flu from two highly pathogenic viral strains - involving subtypes associated with recent outbreaks in Canada and Europe - were confirmed this week in Washington State.

Food Safety & Standards

US considers sea-to-shop tracking system to prevent fish fraud

A risk-based traceability programme that tracks seafood from harvest to entry into U.S. commerce could help keep illegal product out of the supply chain and would help better inform retailers and consumers, according to a report unveiled Tuesday (Dec. 16) by a presidential task force formed to identify ways to stop seafood fraud and end global illegal fishing.

Traceability, Americas

EU rejects stanol two-fold greater cholesterol reduction claim

A claim that 2 grammes of stanol a day as part of a diet low in saturated fat results in a two-fold greater reduction in LDL-cholesterol concentrations compared with consuming a diet low in saturated fat alone has been outlawed in the EU.

Health Claims, Decisions

EU rejects chard and spinach blood health claims

The Commission has rejected a series of blood health claims involving different combinations of spinach and chard in the latest regulation to be published in the EU’s Official Journal.

Health Claims, Decisions

BEUC plea for tougher child food advertising restrictions

The European Consumers Organisation (BEUC) has called for tougher child restrictions on food advertising covering a greater range of programmes and mediums.

Advertising, Children and Young People

Bulgaria adopts food labelling regulations

The Bulgarian government has adopted a regulation that sets the requirements for the labelling, supply and advertising of food products, Focus news agency reports.

Labelling, Health and Nutrition, Country of Origin, Advertising, Food Safety & Standards, Traceability, Bulgaria

FoodDrinkEurope and BEUC comment on new labelling rules

Both industry association FoodDrinkEurope and the European Consumers’ Organisation (BEUC) this week issued statements on the new labelling and information rules taking effect.

Labelling, Health and Nutrition, Food Safety & Standards, Legislation, Policy

US and EU meet for ‘fresh start’ on TTIP

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström has met with US Trade Representative Michael Froman in Washington to discuss a “fresh start” on a potential EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

Policy, Trade, Free Trade Agreements