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“Allergen labelling is a complex issue to approach within the European Union”, concludes the report on “Harmonisation of Approaches for informing EU Allergen labelling legislation” published by the European Commission. The document gathers the results of last year’s workshop organized by DG Santé (General Direction for Health) and DG JRC (Joint Research Centre), aimed to identify the steps required for framing the use of precautionary allergen information and its enforcement across the EU.

EFA actively participated bringing food labelling knowledge and representing food allergy patients. EU legislation on food information to consumers does not contain any specific provisions concerning information on the possible and unintentional presence in food of allergen. However, the Regulation foresees that the Commission shall adopt implementing acts to ensure that information on this possible and unintentional presence does not mislead or confuse consumers.

Taking into consideration some of long-standing EFA’s requests, the report concludes that the wording of precautionary labels should be harmonised, in a way that it is simple, not misleading and provides for meaningful information. The term "may contain" was preferred one. General conditions of use of these precautionary labels should also be established. In particular, they should only be used when an associated risk assessment has been performed. The conditions of use should be general and leave the room for guidelines (at EU, national or sector level). Finally, any new provisions/approach with regard to precautionary labels should be accompanied by appropriate consumer information and education.

More information on EFA’s work on food allergy are available online http://www.efanet.org/ .

Read the full report

Tags: Category: News
Country: EU,Europe
Disease area: Food allergy
Theme: Food labelling