Food Law News - EU - 2008

FSA Interested Parties Letter (LRM/006/097), 10 October 2008

LABELLING - European Commission's Proposal for a Food Information Regulation: Council Working Group meeting – 30 September/1 October 2008

A Council Working Group meeting took place on 30 September and 1 October 2008 at which general and nutrition labelling aspects of the proposal for a Food Information Regulation were discussed.

Meeting on 30 September – General Labelling

This meeting continued the first read through the proposal, picking up from Article 19. Progress was made with discussions focussing on technical amendments to the Commission text and calls for proposed amendments to the text from Member States.

The main points of discussion where:

The UK will be hosting a mini group meeting with Member State representatives to discuss ideas on how to address the issue of clarity and facilitate debate in this area. The UK will then report back to the Working Group at its next meeting.

Meeting on 1 October – Nutrition Labelling

Discussions on 1 October were in relation to nutrition labelling aspects of the proposal. The main areas of discussion were:

There remains general support from Member States for some form of mandatory nutrition declaration, although discussion continues on the exact form and content, and location of nutrition information.

Member States confirmed their preference for mandatory per 100g/ml declarations with additional voluntary per portion and %RIV information and for EFSA to validate the RIV figures contained in the proposal to ensure they have the appropriate scientific basis. Time constraints meant that there was no discussion on national schemes or additional forms of nutrition labelling.

Further discussion is expected to take place on a number of areas including the appropriate levels for significant amounts of vitamins and minerals, entry into force dates for the various provisions of the proposal, the exemption of alcoholic drinks from providing nutrition information.

Next Steps

The next Council Working Group meeting is scheduled for 20 October 2008 and is expected to focus on general labelling provisions.

For details of the previous letter on this topic, see: 15 September 2008 LABELLING - European Commission's Proposal for a Food Information Regulation - Council Working Group meeting

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