Friday, 21 December 2012

Food for thought

The European Council pushed forward this week a new regulation that will regulate information duties (and compositional requirements) for four categories of food: infant formula and follow-on formula; processed cereal-based food and baby food for infants and young children; food for special medical purposes; total daily diet food for weight control. On the 20th of December the European Council approved an agreement reached with the European Parliament on foods considered essential for certain vulnerable persons (babies, young children). The new regulation intends to clarify existing rules both for consumers and producers. It will replace the Directive 2009/39/EC on foodstuffs intended for particular nutritional uses and change other instruments (see more here). In the legislative procedure, the European Parliament will now need to adopt it. For an example of rules it contains see below.
"Infant formula and follow-on formula are not allowed to be labelled, presented and advertised in a way that discourages breast-feeding. For the labelling of infant formula and follow-on formula pictures of infants idealising the use of these categories of food are forbidden. Idealising pictures are also proscribed for the presentation and advertising of infant formula.

Foods for sportsmen, milk-based drinks and similar products  marketed as "growing up milks" are excluded from the scope of the new rules. The Commission must, however, report on the necessity of rules for these products after having consulted the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

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