FSA Consultation Letter, 6 March 2009
The full consultation package is available on this site. See Consultation: Food Labelling (Nutrition Declarations)
Consultation on draft Regulations intended to implement the relevant provisions of Commission Directive 2008/100/EC into national law. Responses are requested by: 29 May 2009
The Food Standard Agency welcomes your comments on the draft Food Labelling (Nutrition Declarations) (England) Regulations 2009. See the consultation documents at the link below.
The intention of the draft Regulations that are the subject of this consultation will be to implement Commission Directive 2008/100/EC into national legislation.
The FSA in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will each consult on parallel but separate Regulations that will apply in their territories.
Comments are also requested on the impact assessment and specific questions contained therein (attached at Annexe B), which has been prepared to accompany this regulation.
Nutrition labelling requirements are laid down in European Union legislation (Council Directive 90/496/EEC).
The provision of nutrition information on food labels is voluntary unless:
in which case it becomes mandatory.
Companies can use a short version (Group 1 nutrition labelling), which details energy, protein, carbohydrate and fat in a product, or a longer version (Group 2 nutrition labelling). Group 2 nutrition labelling gives details of the energy, protein, carbohydrate, sugars, fat, saturates, fibre and sodium in the foodstuff. Directive 90/496/EEC has previously defined each of these nutrients, except for fibre. One of the key amendments of Directive 2008/100/EC is inclusion of a definition for fibre.
Directive 90/496/EEC also defines energy conversion factors for different elements of foodstuffs which have to be used to calculate the energy value listed in nutrition information. Taking into account scientific and technological developments Directive 2008/100/EC introduces an energy conversion factor for the newly defined fibre and also introduces a specific energy conversion factor for erythritol (a type of polyol), which has recently been authorised as a food additive and can be used for a number of functions including as a sweetener.
The annexe to Directive 90/496/EEC lists the vitamins and minerals which may be declared as part of the nutritional labelling and lists their recommended daily allowances (RDAs). Only vitamins and minerals that are listed in this annexe and are present in a significant amount (as a rule 15% of the RDA) can be included in the nutrition information. In order to take into account scientific developments and in order to align this list with other legislation (The Nutrition and Health Claims Made on Foods Regulation (1924/2006) and the Addition of Vitamins and Minerals and of Certain Other Substances to Foods Regulation (1925/2006)), Directive 2008/100/EC updates the list of vitamins and minerals and their respective RDAs.
Directive 2008/100/EC requires that Member States bring into force by 31 October 2009 the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive and shall apply such provisions in such a way as to prohibit with effect from 31 October 2012, the trade in such products which do not comply with Directive 90/496/EEC (as amended by Directive 2008/100/EC).
The FSA previously consulted on a draft proposal from the Commission in March and April 2008 - see link below.
Responses to this consultation were taken into account in developing the UK position when the Commission's proposal was voted on at the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health. Commission Directive 2008/100/EC was subsequently adopted by the Commission. The FSA is now consulting on the draft regulation to introduce the provisions of Directive 2008/100/EC into national law. The consultation package includes a draft impact assessment which includes cost estimates that take account of responses to the earlier consultation. The FSA seeking in this consultation any further information which will help us to refine these estimates.