MEPs set to vote against GM banning proposal

The European Parliament’s key Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee (ENVI) is 13 October set to vote down a Commission proposal to allow Member States to ban imports of EU-authorised genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Food Technology, Genetic Modification, Policy, Environment, Sustainability

MEPs slam rule forcing Italy to allow milk powder in cheese

MEPs lashed out at the Commission for forcing Italy to overturn a ban on use of milk powder in cheese production during a late night debate in Strasbourg on 6 October.

Food Safety & Standards, Country Reports, EU Member States, Italy

Norway to change alcohol advertising rules from November

The Norwegian government is changing its alcohol advertising regulations so that moderate details about products are now acceptable. The beer and wine industry has welcomed the changes whilst health campaigners have said more advertising freedom will lead to more drinking and therefore and increase in health problems.

Advertising, Restrictions & Rules, Country Reports, Europe

Spain examines food chain contracts

Spain’s National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC) is questioning the validity of several measures included in the proposed Code of Good Practices (CGP) for contracts in Spain’s food chain.

Trade, Fairtrade, Upstream Downstream, Country Reports, EU Member States, Spain

Serbia promotes itself as exclusive non-GMO soy producer

EU candidate country Serbia is working with Vienna-based international non-profit association Danube Soya on a new strategy to promote the country’s status as an exclusive non-GMO soy producer in the market, announced authorities in Belgrade.

Food Technology, Genetic Modification, Country Reports, Europe

Slovakia cuts VAT from 20% to 10% on food products

The Slovak government has decided to reduce the value-added tax (VAT) on a number of food products from the current rate of 20% to 10%, as earlier announced by the country’s Prime Minister Robert Fico. The Slovak parliament passed the law which means that the reduction will become effective on January 1, 2016.

Chile passes law forcing companies to warn against high salt, fat and sugar

The Chilean Ministry of Health has issued a new law on nutrition labelling  of food products intended for consumption by children under 14 years of age, Choices International, a Brussels-based multi-stakeholder initiative to promote healthy products, reports . Food products that exceed specified limits of sodium, sugar, energy or saturated fats will be required to use black stop signs with the message “High in salt, sugar, energy or saturated fat”.

Labelling, Health and Nutrition, Americas

Portuguese MEP calls for COOL for dairy products

Portuguese Socialist MEP Ricardo Serrao Santos has called on the Commission to introduce country of origin labelling for dairy products and the milk they contain.

Labelling, Country of Origin, Food Safety & Standards, Traceability, Policy, Country Reports, EU Member States, Portugal

GM cultivation ban: 19 member states restrict GMOs on their territory

A total of 19 member states have informed the European Commission of their intention to ban the cultivation of already-authorised or pending genetically modified (GM) crops in their countries, with the October 3 deadline having now passed.

Food Technology, Genetic Modification, Country Reports

Germany, Bulgaria and Cyprus among latest to ban GMO cultivation ahead of deadline

Six more member states have banned the cultivation of already-authorised or pending genetically modified (GM) crops on their territory, bringing the total to 14 countries, ahead of this week’s deadline to notify the European Commission of their plans.

Food Technology, Genetic Modification, Country Reports, EU Member States, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Germany

NGOs play huge role in public response to latest consultation on US diet

A US consulting firm has read the 28,000 comments submitted by the public during the latest consultation on the US dietary guidelines and has found that 80% of comments were generated by form letters and write-in campaigns orchestrated by NGOs. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) is the cornerstone of federal nutrition policy and education policy in the US and must be updated by law every five years. A hearing on the guidelines is due to take place today.

Guidelines, Americas

UK government offers £10m to companies to reformulate

The UK Government has launched a competition to fund up to £10 million in collaborative R&D projects aimed at reducing sugar, salt and fat and increasing dietary fibre in food and drink products. Government agency, Innovate UK, will run the competition to “stimulate the availability of healthier food and drink choices for consumers”.

Food Safety & Standards, Health, Research, Policy, Country Reports, EU Member States, UK

Court action thwarted against probiotic that “defends against constipation”

The dietary supplements industry is praising a September 24 court action that denied the US government’s motion to hold Bayer in contempt for claims made about its Phillips’ Colon Health probiotic product.

Health Claims, Americas

Breakfast cereal advert does not breach EU health claims law

A television advert for a “breakfast cereal drink” which referred to the drink as “a proper breakfast” did not breach the EU health claims regulation, the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled.

Health Claims, Advertising, Country Reports, EU Member States, UK

UK considers new rules for junk food ads aimed at children

The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is to launch a public consultation in early 2016 on the introduction of new rules governing the non-broadcast advertising, to children, of food and soft drinks high in fat, salt or sugar. “Non-broadcast” refers to posters and billboards outdoors, as well as websites, computer games and social media online.

Advertising, Children and Young People, Policy, Health, Country Reports, EU Member States, UK

US scheme to self-regulate adverts aimed at children “isn’t working”

The Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI), an industry self-regulatory programme launched in response to complaints of junk food advertising to kids, has taken another hit in a scientific journal, this time showing a jump in exposure to candy advertisements.

Advertising, Children and Young People

Size of food packaging “can influence perception of portion size”

Larger food pack sizes can increase people’s estimates of portion sizes, according to a new study published by the European Food Information Council (EUFIC) and the UK’s University of Surrey.

Health, Research, Policy

Call for MEPs to vote for strict organic welfare rules

Eurogroup for Animals is calling on the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee to back stringent animal welfare rules when it votes on EU organic food and farming rules on 12 October.

Food Safety & Standards, Policy, Animal Welfare, Environment, Climate Change, Sustainability