Five flavourings removed from approved EU list

The European Commission has removed five flavourings from the authorised Union list in Annex I to the EU’s 2008 flavourings regulation (1334/2008).

Food Safety & Standards

New UK alcohol guidelines “unlikely to have a direct impact on drinking”

The UK’s new alcohol guidelines are unlikely to have a direct impact on drinking, but they do raise awareness of harm and could alter social attitudes towards alcohol, an article in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) claims. The consultation period on the proposed new guidelines closes on April 1st 2016.

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

No EU registration for ‘mountain products’ planned, says Hogan

There is to be no registration procedure and database for producers using the ‘mountain products’ label, EU Farm Commissioner Phil Hogan made clear this month in response to a written question from Bulgarian Socialist MEP Momchil Nekov.

Labelling, Country of Origin

EU starts negotiations with Colombia over organic food products

The Government of Colombia and the European Commission have this week started negotiations towards a bilateral agreement on trade in organic products. The EU’s exports of wines, spirits, food preparations, baby food and olive oil are expected to benefit.

Trade, Free Trade Agreements, Country Reports, Americas

EU requires Indian betel leaves certified Salmonella-free

All exports of betel leaves from India to the EU will have to be certified as Salmonella-free from 12 February under the latest Commission implementing regulation updating the high-risk import list in a 2009 law (regulation 669/2009).

Food Safety & Standards, Approval & Certification

Analysis: How new US food safety laws will affect EU exporters

Katia Merten-Lentz, of international law firm Keller and Heckman, takes a look at changes to US food safety regulation, which come into force this year and will impact EU food exporters.

Italy wins protection for two food products

The European Commission has granted Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status to two products from Italy. The new denominations, granted to pasta and pigmeat, will be added to 1,300 products already protected under the EU scheme.

Labelling, Special Protected Status, Country Reports, EU Member States, Italy

RSPO adds no-deforestation and human rights criteria to palm oil certification

The Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) has added no-deforestation and human rights criteria to its certification scheme, to allow firms that go the extra mile to prove it through a voluntary bonus label.

Labelling, Policy, Environment, Climate Change, Sustainability

Warning new novel foods law might not speed up approvals

The new novel foods regulation might not speed up approvals or simplify applications, a top lawyer specialised in the subject has warned.

Food Technology, Novel Foods

MEPs in symbolic vote to ban three GMOs

The European Parliament 3 February voted for the EU to ban three glyphosate-tolerant genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in what was a symbolic move since MEPs have no powers to sway the Commission over the approvals.

Food Technology, Genetic Modification

EFSA calls for data on starch and cellulose additives

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is calling for data on approved starch and cellulose food additives.

Food Safety & Standards

Anti-microbial resistance on the rise, warn EU agencies

Bacteria in humans, food and animals continue to show resistance to the most widely used antimicrobials, says the latest joint report on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in zoonotic bacteria in Europe from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Food Safety & Standards

Tonic water to get EU-wide generic descriptor status

The term ‘tonic water’ is to get EU-wide recognition as a generic descriptor, making clear that the word ‘tonic’ is not a hidden health claim, a 5 February workshop in Brussels heard.

Health Claims, Procedure

Claims that DHA supplement improves memory subject of US lawsuit

The US Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) on February 1st sued American pharmacy retailer, CVS, over alleged false and misleading claims that its Algal-900 DHA dietary supplement is “clinically shown” to improve memory.

Health Claims

Health warning on sugary drinks sets “dangerous precedent”

Advertisers in the US say a San Francisco ordinance requiring health warnings on ads for sweetened drinks sets a dangerous precedent and they have joined a lawsuit asking a federal court to block it.

Advertising, Americas

Ireland issues guidance on using the term “butter” in fat spreads

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has published guidance on the use of the term "butter" when labelling and advertising fat spreads, urging the industry to be careful when using similar terms such as “buttery” and “butterly”.

Advertising, Misleading & Deceptive, Restrictions & Rules

MEPs press Commission for action on food trade barriers

A large cross-party group of MEPs is pressing the Commission for a clampdown on non-tariff barriers affecting food trade within the EU.

Policy, Trade, Pricing, Import & Export Tariffs

MEPs to grill EFSA chief on agency's work

European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Executive Director Bernhard Url is to appear before MEPs on 17 February to answer questions on both the agency’s 2016-2018 work programme and its science strategy.

Policy, Institutional