Danish regulator investigates food industry’s use of water

The Danish Food & Drug Administration is investigating the extent to which food businesses are contaminating water and how this can be avoided. The regulator says that the purpose of its intervention is to ensure a high level of food safety by controlling corporate routines and their handling of water.

Food Safety & Standards, Denmark

UK consumers “being sold potentially lethal chicken”

Chicken is being sold in UK supermarkets with potentially lethal levels of the campylobacter, a consumer group has said. Campaign group Which? is now calling on supermarkets, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the chicken industry to tighten safety procedures.

Food Safety & Standards, UK

Briefing: EU wholesalers and caterers need to be wary of new food labelling requirements

When it comes to labelling, until now the food business operator (FBO) took total responsibility for the correct labelling of their products, writes regulatory analyst Liz Tucker. That responsibility is now spreading out to others in the food supply chain.

Labelling

Commission called upon to draft Traditional Health Claims Regulation

A Dutch trade association has called upon the European Commission to draft a separate health claims regulation based on the traditional use of foods.

Health Claims, Regulation, Procedure

UK eyes stiffer sentences for food crime

The UK is considering imposing much tougher prison and other sentences for food safety and hygiene offences, under new sentencing guidelines issued for consultation last week.

Country Reports

Call for MEPs to back nano food moratorium

Food & Water Europe is calling on MEPs to secure a moratorium on the use of nanotechnology in food and food packaging, saying that the risks of the technology are so grave that it needs its own laws.

US sees no ‘regulatory fix’ for COOL

US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack sees no regulatory “fix” for country-of-origin (COOL) labelling of meat products that will bring COOL into line with the World Trade Organization.

Labelling, Country of Origin, Americas

Danes want to reduce VAT on vegetables and fruit

An overwhelming majority of Danes would like to reduce the 25% VAT on particularly healthy foods such as fresh fruit, organic foods and products marked with the “Keyhole” label, Danish news bureau Ritzau writes.

Labelling, Denmark

Testbiotech asks Andriukaitis to act on GM feeding study

Campaign group Testbiotech has written to EU Health and Food Safety Commissioner Vytenis Andiukaitis asking for clarification over a controversial rat feeding study on genetically modified organisms after an EU funded research consortium rejected its criticism and demand to withdraw the publication.

Food Technology

Commission and Council must heed MEPs on GM crop bans, say NGOs

Green campaign groups have overwhelmingly backed the 11 November vote in the European Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee on the right for member states to ban EU-approved genetically modified organisms, with the message now that the Council and Commission must take notice of the MEPs.

Food Technology, Genetic Modification, Policy

Commission could clear PAA treatment for chicken as TTIP sweetener

The Commission is looking to clear treatment of chicken carcasses with peroxyacetic acid (PAA) as a bargaining tool in current talks with the US to clinch the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the EU’s lead negotiator on sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) issues, Lorenzo Terzi said this week.

Food Safety & Standards, Trade, Free Trade Agreements

EFSA suggests dietary reference values for vitamin A

The European Food Safety Authority has given a 7 January deadline for comments on draft dietary reference values (DRVs) for vitamin A, which appear to fall within current consumption levels.

Food Safety & Standards, Guidelines

Briefing: How legal are negative claims such as “BPA-free” or “aspartame free”?

Food business operators are increasingly using the so-called “negative claims” or “free from…” claims to promote “premium” products, such as “GMO-free” and “palm oil-free”. Katia Merten-Lentz, partner at law firm Fieldfisher, and Pavlina Chopova, associate at Fieldfisher, look at where voluntary negative claims sit in the law books.

Health Claims, Regulation

EFSA criticised for the way it assess health and nutrition claims

Supplement maker InQpharm Europe has hit out at the way the European Food Safety Authority assess claims after EFSA’s Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) rejected its weight-loss claim for a white kidney bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) extract in its PhaseLite product.

Health Claims, Procedure

Bakers challenge toothpaste advert on sugar content of bread

The Federation of British Bakers have complained to the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) about a toothpaste advert which they believed wrongly suggested that white bread was high in sugar. The ASA rejected the bakers’ complaint.

Advertising

Obesity Platform to consider advertising and marketing

The EU’s Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health is to focus on advertising and marketing at its 24 November meeting in Brussels.

Advertising

EFSA to host international conference alongside EXPO 2015

The European Food Safety Authority is to host an international scientific conference in parallel with next year’s EXPO 2015 in Milan along the same theme of food security for all.

Policy

Commission opens files on Starbucks tax aid probe

The Commission has published a non-confidential version of its June 2014 decision to open an investigation into Dutch transfer pricing arrangements on corporate taxation of international coffee chain Starbucks, which is suspected of being an illegal subsidy to the company.

Policy