Food Law News - EU - 2011

ENVI-News (15/2011), 19 December 2011

PARNUTS - Food Intended for Infants and Young Children and Food For Special Medical Purposes: EU Parliament Committee to discuss draft report

The following is an extract from the Newsletter of the European Parliament Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee issued prior to their meeting on 19-20 December

The ENVI Committee will consider a draft report on food intended for infants and young children and food for special medical purposes (Frédérique Ries, ALDE, Belgium).

The proposal for a regulation revises the legislation on foodstuffs intended for particular nutritional uses covered by Directive 2009/39/EC, the so-called "Framework Directive on dietetic foods". It abolishes the concept of dietetic foods and provides for a new framework establishing general provisions only for a limited number of well-established and defined categories of food that are considered as essential for certain vulnerable groups of the population, i.e. food intended for infants and young children and food for patients under medical supervision. Further to these objectives, the proposal aims at creating a single legal measure that regulates lists of substances such as vitamins, minerals and other substances that may be added to the categories of food covered by this proposal, while currently there exist three different lists of substances included in three different legal measures.

The rapporteur welcomes in principle the approach by the Commission to abolish the concept of dietetic foods while keeping strict rules for a few special categories of people. She however insists on including very low calorie diet products (VLCD) by incorporating them into the definition of foods for special medical purposes. Furthermore she proposes to deal with foods containing gluten or lactose within the framework of the new regulation 1169/2011 on information to consumers instead of the health claims regulation 1924/2006 as the Commission suggests. Invoking the precautionary principle, the rapporteur speaks out against the use of pesticides for the special categories of food in question. She moreover advocates innovation as well as an easier access of SMEs to the markets of special foods.

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