Clarifying EU Food Plans

June 30/Brussels, Belgium/Right Vision News -- The European Commission issued following press release:

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are neither trying to ban the sale of eggs by the dozen nor the sale or marketing of Nutella. MEP Renate Sommer, who is steering legislation on food labelling through the European Parliament, said, "There will be no changes to selling foods by number. Selling eggs by the dozen, for example, will not be banned."

Ban or Health Warnings on Nutella?
Under current proposals, salt, fat and sugar content would become mandatory information on food labels. Other, existing legislation sets out rules on "nutrient profiles," a system that will control a product's right to carry health and nutrition claims, such as "high in calcium" or "good for your heart." There is no proposal to put health warnings on food labels or to ban the marketing or sale of any products.

No Ban on Eggs by the Dozen
Selling eggs by the dozen will not be illegal under the terms of the amendments adopted by the European Parliament to EU food labelling proposals. Labels will still be able to indicate the number of food items in a pack, whether of eggs, bread rolls or fish fingers.

Labelling by Weight
Reports that claim the new rules will not allow both the weight and the quantity to be displayed are also wrong. The new food labelling regulation does not affect existing EU rules on the size of eggs: There are four official sizes of eggs: very large (73g and over), large (63-73g), medium (53-3g) and small (under 53g) -- this will not change.

New Labelling Rules Not Next Year
The proposed legislation will only be approved if and when it is agreed by the European Parliament and EU member states. Parliament voted a series of amendments on food labelling legislation on June 16 in first reading. Discussions are ongoing, and no agreement is expected before mid-2011. The rules would come into effect three years later for businesses (or five years for small businesses) to allow them time to adapt, so this will not affect supermarkets and grocers until 2014 at the earliest.

From the July 6, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition