EP rejects new list of authorised nutrition claims
By Sophie Petitjean | Thursday 02 February 2012
The European Parliament has opposed the adoption of the new list of nutrition and health claims for food. Using its new powers under the regulatory procedure with scrutiny, MEPs adopted by qualified majority a resolution opposing the proposal amending Regulation 1924/2006. Parliament finds that the Commission’s draft regulation runs counter to the purpose and content of that regulation. The EU executive will therefore have to present a modified proposal, even though the Council has already approved the measure (see
Europolitics 4350 and 4353).
The draft regulation presented by the Commission added nutrition claims to the list of authorised claims and amended conditions for the use of claims already authorised by Regulation (EC) 1924/2006. It proposed to authorise the claim “now contains x% less [energy value, fat, saturated fat, salt/sodium and/or sugar]” for all products containing at least 15% less energy value, fat, saturated fat, sodium/salt or sugar.
For MEPs, this claim is “ambiguous, misleading and confusing to the average consumer” because it permits the comparison of a product’s nutritional values with a previous version of the same product, without taking into account the initial content of a given nutrient. They also fear that such a claim may erroneously appear more attractive to consumers than a claim that does not contain a figure.
FoodDrinkEurope, the voice of the agri-food sector, regretted the vote, in contrast with the Consumers’ Organisation (BEUC), which hailed it.