Council Press Release, 7-8 June 2010
The following is an extract from the Minutes of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council meeting.
On the basis of two questions suggested by the presidency concerning legibility and responsibility (10273/10) [See the following document on this site: Proposal for a regulation on the provision of food information to consumers - Policy debate] the Council held a policy debate on a draft regulation on food information to consumers and, more specifically, the information given by labels.
Concerning legibility, ministers pleaded in favour of a mandatory minimum font size, while recognizing that other criteria such as contrast, colour of the letters, distance of the letters, etc. are relevant.
As far as the responsibility of food operators is concerned, some member states supported the approach of the Commission, according to which an Article should be included in the regulation specifying the responsibility of food operators in accordance to their role in the food chain, whereas a significant number of other countries consider Article 17 of the general food law (regulation 178/2002) to be sufficient.
Some member states also mentioned their wish to have mandatory indication of origin of certain products.
The draft regulation seeks to introduce mandatory nutrition labelling, to specify the responsibility corresponding to the role of each food operator in the supply chain and to improve the legibility of the information provided to consumers.
Legal basis: Article 114 (on the internal market) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU; qualified majority required for a Council decision; ordinary legislative procedure with the European Parliament's first reading opinion expected on 15 June 2010.