Medical foods: new law in force from July 2016

Companies seeking to market foods for special medical purposes (FSMP) in the EU from July next year will have to prove that special products are necessary and that an adapted diet using ordinary foods is unsuitable, under guidance from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Food Safety & Standards, Legislation

EU action could help tackle unfairness in banana trade

Banana workers and small farmers in developing countries are exposed to toxic agro-chemicals, earn poverty level wages and work in a climate of fear, reveals a new report published this month by Banana Link and the Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO).

Policy, Trade, Pricing, Fairtrade

Portugal “needs alerts on sugary drinks” to cut diabetes

Two million Portuguese citizens are under risk of developing diabetes while 150 new cases of the disease emerge every day, according to a new report unveiled by the National Diabetes Observatory in Lisbon.

Labelling, Health and Nutrition, Policy, Health, Country Reports, EU Member States, Portugal

Analysis: Should EU ban BPA in food contact materials?

Is France’s comprehensive ban on the controversial chemical bisphenol A (BPA) in all food contact materials a trail-blazer or should the European Commission quash the French law through the EU courts?  The issue will be at the forefront next year when the Commission comes out with a proposal for an EU law on BPA.

Food Safety & Standards, Food Contact Material

End 90-day feeding studies for GMO approvals, EU project advises

A major EU project into regulatory requirements for risk assessment of genetically modified organisms in the authorisation process could sound the death knell for 90-day rat feeding studies.

Food Technology, Genetic Modification, Research

UK regulator to explore impact of climate change on food safety

The UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) is to hold a workshop to explore the possible impacts of climate change on food safety on next week. Lord John Krebs, a member of the UK’s Committee on Climate Change, will deliver the keynote address at the workshop on December 2.

MEPs press Commission on Israeli settlement labelling

Two MEPs are separately pushing the European Commission for more information on its decision to issue guidance showing how to apply labelling to products – mainly foodstuffs – from Israeli settlements, with both parliamentarians making clear their disapproval.

Labelling, Country of Origin, Policy

Data gap on GM labelling violations, says Andriukaitis

The European Commission has no data on cases in the Member States where food containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has not been labelled as such, EU Health and Food Safety Commissioner acknowledged in response to a written question from Latvian centre right MEP Inese Vaidere.

Labelling, GM, Food Technology, Genetic Modification

Hearing seeks clarity on future of GMOs in the EU

The EU should examine and clearly define the direction that it wants to take on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the bloc, participants at a hearing in the European Parliament agreed this week.

Food Technology, Genetic Modification

US food regulator approves GM salmon

The FDA declared genetically modified salmon fit for human consumption in a landmark decision on November 18 that marks the first time the agency has approved commercialisation of a GM animal.

Food Technology, Genetic Modification, Americas

Sweden takes court action against European Commission

The EU Court of Justice in Luxembourg last week heard Sweden’s case against the Commission for failing to produce criteria to identify endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs).

Food Safety & Standards, Legislation, Environment

Commission to launch research integrity initiative

The Commission is planning to launch a research integrity initiative before the end of the year, the head of a new sector overseeing the development told a FoodDrinkEurope conference last week.

Research, Policy, Institutional

Vitamin C contributes to under three immunity, says regulator

The claim that “Vitamin C contributes to the normal function of the immune system” in infants and children under three is backed by scientific evidence, according to the European Food Safety Authority’s Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA).

Health Claims, Food Safety & Standards

Draft UK law on sugar “could conflict with EU law”

A draft law before the UK parliament that aims to reduce the amount of sugar in food and drink could breach EU food legislation, consultant Mark J. Tallon has warned. Specifically, the bill, due to be debated on November 20, could breach the EU’s Health and Nutrition Claims Regulation

Labelling, Health and Nutrition, Health Claims, Policy, Health, Country Reports, EU Member States, UK

Analysis: Self-regulation failing to curb advertising excesses

As Europe’s obesity crisis deepens, and numbers of overweight and obese children soar, many are questioning whether the EU’s favoured voluntary approach to advertising controls, based on industry self-regulation, is working.  Health campaigners and many MEPs argue that tough regulation is needed to stop industry marketing junk food to children.

Advertising, Restrictions & Rules, Policy, Health

Soft drinks advert on Instagram account riles regulator

A soft drinks company that teamed up with a celebrity model to promote its products has got into trouble with regulators over the use of Instagram. In particular, the use of the hashtag #sp, meaning “sponsored content”, was ruled to be insufficient to identify the content as promotional material.

Advertising, Country Reports, EU Member States, UK

‘Intervention’ needed to boost fruit and vegetable intake

Intervention efforts are needed to boost fruit and vegetable intake across childhood and adolescence as well as among pregnant women and older people.  That was the conclusion of a comprehensive literature review of some 112 studies published since 2000 as part of the EU-funded ‘My Healthy Family’ project.

Policy, Health

Poland’s new government plans “supermarket tax”

Following the victory of Poland’s Law and Justice (PiS) party in the country’s October 27 parliamentary elections, the new government, which was subsequently formed by Prime Minister Beata Szydlo, has unveiled plans to introduce a new 2% tax which is to be imposed on large retail chains.

Policy, Tax, Trade, Country Reports, EU Member States, Poland