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New food labelling regulation

After almost three years of negotiations, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union adopted the final text of the new Regulation on the provision of food information to consumers in October 2011. EFA is particularly interested because clear and understandable food information helps consumers make better-informed and safer food choices, which is especially important for people with food allergy.
The most notable aspect of the new Regulation in terms of EFA’s concerns is that it establishes that all products and substances causing allergies and intolerance (the allergens listed in Annex II of the Regulation) must be clearly labelled on the packages of food products. In addition, for the first time, food information on allergens in non pre-packed food will become mandatory. Although no concrete rules on precautionary labelling have been set out, the fact that it is mentioned in one of the Regulation’s recitals is a crucial political milestone, making it possible to envisage the development of common European guidelines on this matter in the future.
It is now up to the European Commission and the European Member States to implement the provisions of the Regulation. EFA met with officials from the European Commission’s Directorate General for Health and Consumers (SANCO) on 3 February this year to discuss how this would come about, and will be working closely and keeping members informed of developments. For more information contact roberta.savli@efanet.org

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