Food information to consumers in the EU, rules and perspectives, '08


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Overview of the EU rules on food information to consumers. General principles, mandatory and voluntary information on food labels. Nutrition & health claims made on foods. A clue on the draft EU Regulation, which is now under the exam of the European Parliament and the Council

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Food information to consumers in the EU, rules and perspectives, '08

  1. 1. Food information to consumers: EU rules and perspectives ©2008 Dario Dongo Regulative Policies, Federalimentare, manager - GSM +39 335 7313 726 1
  2. 2. Index Introduction 1) Labelling, presentation and advertising of foodstuff (Dir. 2000/13/EC, 2008/5/EC) 2) Nutrition and health claims made on foods (EC Reg. 1924/06) 3) food information to consumers, draft Regulation (COM(2008) 40 final) 2
  3. 3. Introduction Food legislation in all Member States derives from EC Directives and Regulations The main objective of these rules, traditionally, is to guarantee the free movement of goods (Art. 28-30 EC) in the Market The common denominator of food law worldwide is the Codex Alimentarius (FAO, WHO) 3
  4. 4. Rules to be applied General (horizontal) rules: Dir. 2000/13/EC and further modifications, Dir. 2008/5/EC (additional particulars to be included on labels), Dir. 98/6/EC (indication of price), and others, shall apply to all foods Special (vertical) rules: hundreds of specific rules, applied to single foods or food categories, integrate and/or partially repeal general rules 4
  5. 5. 1) Labelling, presentation and advertising of foodstuff Dir. 2000/13/EC (consolidated text) + Dir. 2008/5/EC (additional particulars) 5
  6. 6. Scope Foodstuff to be delivered as such to the final consumer and mass caterers (ie. restaurants, canteens,…) -> Pre-packaged and food sold loose are both included National rules actually provide some basic info to be transferred even in B2B sales, ie.: name under which the product is sold list of ingredients name and address of the producer/packager/retailer lot/stock/delivery 6
  7. 7. The Golden Principle Food labels have to be readable and understandable Their information must be clear and substanciated -> On this basis, information is divided into mandatory and optional 7
  8. 8. Mandatory info (1) In the same field of vision: the name under which the product is sold, physical condition accompanied by particulars as to the of the foodstuff or the specific treatment which it has undergone (e.g. powdered, freeze-dried, deep-frozen, concentrated, smoked) in all cases where omission of such information could create confusion in the mind of the purchaser quantity (in case of prepackaged foods) net date of minimal durability [“best before”] or, in case of foodstuffs highly perishable from the microbiological point of view, “use by” date 8
  9. 9. Mandatory info (2) list of ingredients, in descending order of weight, as recorded at the time of their use in the manufacture of the foodstuff name or business name and address of the manufacturer or packager, or of a seller established within the Community ->Member States may retain national provisions which require indication of the factory or packaging centre, in respect of home production batch code 9
  10. 10. Mandatory info (3) Depending on the treatment or composition: “Treated with ionising radiation” or “irradiated” “Packaged in a protective atmosphere” alcoholic strength by volume, for beverages containing more than 1,2% by volume of alcohol (in the same field of name, quantity, durability) “with sweeteners” or “with sugar(s) and sweetener(s)” “contains a source of phenylalanine” (aspartame) 10
  11. 11. Mandatory info (4) Depending on the treatment or composition: caffeine and quinine, specific mention (excluding tea or coffee-based drinks). “High in caffeine” (>150mg/litre) “excessive consumption may produce laxative effects” (added polyols >10%) “contains liquorice” (unless the term is already included in the name or in the ingredients list). “contains liquorice – people suffering from hypertension should avoid excessive consumption” (glycyrrhizinic acid or its ammonium salt, or the plant, at certain concentrations) GMO or GMO-derived (see EC Reg. 1829/03) 11
  12. 12. Mandatory info (5) In particular cases: nutrition labelling, when nutrition information appears on labelling or advertising (with the exclusion of generic advertising) percentage of the characterising ingredient, where: - the ingredient or category of ingredients concerned appears in the name under which the foodstuff is sold or is usually associated - where the ingredient or category of ingredients concerned is emphasised on the labelling in words, pictures or graphics - where the ingredient or category of ingredients concerned is essential to characterise a foodstuff and to distinguish it from products with which it might be confused because of its name or appearance 12
  13. 13. Mandatory info (6) Particular storage conditions and conditions of use, when particular devices (depending on the nature of the product) are required Instructions for use, when it would be impossible to make appropriate use of the foodstuff in the absence of such instructions Place of origin or provenance of the product, where failure to give such particulars might mislead the consumer to a material degree as to the true origin or provenance (see EC Reg. 450/08, Art. 23-26) 13
  14. 14. How to deliver information Means: - prepackaged foods -> labels - non-prepackaged foods -> Member States shall adopt detailed rules (and derogations) - B2B sales -> commercial documents (that accompany the food or to be sent before or at the same time as delivery) Language: the Member State in which the product is marketed may stipulate that information shall be given in one or more official languages of the Community 14
  15. 15. Optional information Clear and accurate information. Must not: a) mislead the purchaser as to the characteristics of the foodstuff […] b) attribute to the foodstuff effects or properties which it does not possess c) suggest that the product possesses special characteristics, when in fact all similar products possess the same characteristics d) attribute to the foodstuff the property of preventing, treating or curing diseases, or refer to such properties (with the exceptions of mineral waters and dietetic products) -> see also EC Reg. No. 1924/06, regarding nutrition & health claims 15
  16. 16. The “Allergens Directive” (1) 2003/89/EC Directive has modified the “Labelling Directive” (2000/13/CE) with regard to the indication of ingredients present in foodstuffs The BASIC PRINCIPLE: Each ingredient or substance, used in the preparation of foodstuff and still present in the final product, even if in an alterate form, must be indicated in the label with its specific name, when it belongs or is derived from an allergenic ingredient This rule is applied to all foodstuffs, including alcoholic beverages 16
  17. 17. The “Allergens Directive” (2) List of allergens: Cereals containing gluten (ie. wheat, rye, barley, oat, spelt, and their hybrids) Milk Eggs Fish, shellfish, molluscs Fish Soy Dry fruit with shell (ie. almond, hazelnut, nut, peanut, cashew nut, pecan nut, brazil nut, pistachio, macadamia nut) Sesame Mustard Celery, Celeriac Sulphurous anhydride (SO2), at concentration higher than 10 mg/kg or 10 mg/litre Lupin and products thereof 17
  18. 18. The “Allergens Directive” (3) NB: compound ingredients, in the list of ingredients, must be followed by the list of their ingredients -> ie. Biscuit - List of ingredients: flour, margarine (vegetable oils, hydrogenated vegetable oils, water, emulsifier …, salt), sugar, … NB: substances derived from allergens but excluded from the requirement of specific mention of the allergenic ingredient: see Dir. 2007/68/EC (new Annex 3a Dir. 2000/13/EC) 18
  19. 19. The “Allergens Directive” (4) Impact on process: HACCP analysis must consider the risk of (cross) contamination with allergens and/or their derivatives, in all phases of buying (suppliers’ warranties + random analysis) – stocking – manufacturing – packaging – deposit – transport – distribution -> possible reformulation of the product Impact on label: -> “It may contain …” 19
  20. 20. The “Allergens Directive” (5) Example 1: sandwich (UK) 20
  21. 21. The “Allergens Directive” (6) Example 2: cake (UK) 21
  22. 22. 2) Nutrition & health claims made on foods (EC) Reg. No. 1924/06 22
  23. 23. Nutrition & health claims EC Regulation No. 1924/06 Scope: nutrition and health claims made in commercial communications, whether in the labelling, presentation or advertising of foods to be delivered as such to the final consumer -> TM, brand names, fancy names included Nutrition claim: “any claim which states, suggests or implies that a food has particular beneficial nutritional properties due to: the energy (kcal) it provides; provides at a reduced or increased rate; or does not provide; and/or the nutrients or other substances it contains; contains in reduced or increased proportions; or does not contain” Health claim: “any claim that states, suggests or implies that a relationship exists between a food category, a food or one of its constituents and health” 23
  24. 24. General principles The use of nutrition and health claims shall not: be false, ambiguous or misleading give rise to doubt about the safety and/or the nutritional adequacy of other foods encourage or condone excess consumption of a food state, suggest or imply that a balanced and varied diet cannot provide appropriate quantities of nutrients in general refer to changes in bodily functions which could give rise to or exploit fear in the consumer, either textually or through pictorial, graphic or symbolic representations (Art. 3) 24
  25. 25. General conditions the presence, absence or reduced content in a food or category of food of a nutrient or other substance in respect of which the claim is made has been shown to have a beneficial nutritional or physiological effect, as established by generally accepted scientific evidence the nutrient or other substance for which the claim is made: - is contained/reduced/not present in the final product in a significant quantity - with reference to the amount of product that can reasonably be expected to be consumed – in order to produce the nutritional or physiological effect claimed - is available to be used by the body (where applicable) the claim is understandable by the average consumer (Art. 5) 25
  26. 26. Nutrition claims Nutrition claims shall only be permitted if they are listed in the Annex and are in conformity with the conditions set out in the Regulation Claims, as listed in the Annex, must be adapted to usage conditions, and they shall apply from 1 July 2007 Nutrition claims which have been used in a Member State before 1 January 2006, in compliance with national provisions and which are not included in the Annex, may continue to be used until 19 January 2010 under the responsibility of food business operators 26
  27. 27. Nutrition claims: Annex (1) LOW ENERGY: <40kcal (170kJ)/100g for solids, or <20kcal (80kJ)/100ml for liquids ENERGY-REDUCED: energy value is reduced by at least 30%, with an indication of the characteristic(s) which make(s) the food reduced in its total energy value ENERGY-FREE: <4kcal (17kJ)/100ml 27
  28. 28. Nutrition claims: Annex (2) LOW FAT: <3g fat per 100g (solids), or <1,5g fat per 100ml (liquids) -> semi-skimmed milk: <1,8g fat per 100ml FAT-FREE: <0,5g fat per 100g/ml -> claims expressed as ‘X % fat-free’ are prohibited LOW SATURATED FAT: <1,5g saturated fatty acids and trans-fatty acids per 100g (solids), or 0,75g per 100ml (liquids) and in either case no more than 10% of energy SATURATED FAT-FREE: <0,1g saturated fat per 100g/ml 28
  29. 29. Nutrition claims: Annex (3) LOW SUGAR: <5g sugar per 100g (solids), or <2,5g sugar per 100ml (liquids) SUGAR-FREE: <0,5g per 100g/ml WITH NO ADDED SUGAR: where the product does not contain any added mono- or disaccharides or any other food used for its sweetening properties -> If sugar is naturally present in the food, the following indication should also appear on the label: ‘CONTAINS NATURALLY OCCURRING SUGAR’ 29
  30. 30. Nutrition claims: Annex (4) LOW SODIUM/SALT: <0,12g sodium (or salt-equivalent) per 100g/ml VERY LOW SODIUM/SALT: <0,04g sodium (or salt-equivalent) per 100g/ml SODIUM-FREE or SALT-FREE: <0,005g sodium (or salt-equivalent) per 100g/ml SOURCE OF FIBRE: >3g fibre per 100g, or >1,5g fibre per 100 kcal HIGH FIBRE: > 6g fibre per 100g, or >3g fibre per 100 kcal 30
  31. 31. Nutrition claims: Annex (5) SOURCE OF PROTEIN: at least 12% of the energy value of the food is provided by protein HIGH PROTEIN: at least 20% of the energy value of the food is provided by protein SOURCE OF [NAME OF VITAMIN/S AND/OR MINERAL/S]: at least a significant amount (15% RDA) HIGH [NAME OF VITAMIN/S AND/OR MINERAL/S]: at least twice the value of ‘source of [VITAMIN/S and/or MINERAL/S]’ (30%RDA) 31
  32. 32. Nutrition claims: Annex (6) CONTAINS [NAME OF THE NUTRIENT OR OTHER SUBSTANCE]: the product shall comply with all the applicable provisions of the Regulation (Article 5, in particular) INCREASED [NAME OF THE NUTRIENT]: at least 30 % increase in content, compared to a similar product REDUCED [NAME OF THE NUTRIENT]: at least 30% reduction in content compared to a similar product, except for micronutrients (10 % difference) and for sodium, or the equivalent value for salt (25% difference) 32
  33. 33. Nutrition claims: Annex (7) LIGHT/LITE: a claim stating that a product is ‘light’ or ‘lite’, and any claim likely to have the same meaning for the consumer, shall follow the same conditions as those set for the term ‘reduced’ -> the claim shall also be accompanied by an indication of the characteristic(s) which make(s) the food ‘light’ or ‘lite’ NATURALLY/NATURAL: where a food naturally meets the condition(s) laid down in the Annex for the use of a nutritional claim, the term ‘naturally/natural’ may be used as a prefix 33
  34. 34. Health claims: specific conditions (1) Health claims shall be prohibited unless they comply with the general requirements (..) and the specific requirements (…), and are included in the lists of authorised claims provided for in Articles 13 and 14 34
  35. 35. Health claims: specific conditions (2) Health claims shall only be permitted if the following information is included in the labelling, or if no such labelling exists, in the presentation and advertising: a) a statement indicating the importance of a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle b) the quantity of the food and pattern of consumption required to obtain the claimed beneficial effect c) where appropriate, a statement addressed to persons who should avoid using the food; and d) an appropriate warning for products that are likely to present a health risk if consumed to excess 35
  36. 36. Health claims: general references Reference to general, non-specific benefits of the nutrient or food for overall good health or health-related well-being may only be made if accompanied by a specific health claim included in the lists provided for in Article 13 or 14 NB: the reference should not apply to the general organoleptic characteristics as far as the product specification regards its own value 36
  37. 37. Health claims: functional claims (1) A Community Register will be established of health claims, substantiated by scientific evidence, describing or referring to: a) role of a nutrient or other substance in growth, development and the functions of the body b) psychological and behavioural functions c) slimming or weight-control or a reduction in hunger or an increase in the sense of satiety or reduction of the available energy from the diet, without prejudice to Directive 96/8/EC (Art. 13) 37
  38. 38. Health claims: functional claims (2) Member States have provided the Commission with lists of claims, with all necessary conditions for the use of these claims -> the Commission, after the opinion of EFSA, will publish the Community Register by 31 Jan. 2010 Claims may be made under the conditions mentioned in the Community Register, complying with the nutrient profiles rules NB: The reduction of disease risk claims and claims referring to childrens’ development and health are excluded from this regime 38
  39. 39. Health claims: other claims The reduction of disease risk claims* and claims referring to childrens’ development and health -> can only be made where they have been authorised in accordance with the Commission and EFSA (Art. 14) (*)”any health claim that states, suggests or implies that the consumption of a food category, a food or one of its constituents significantly reduces a risk factor in the development of a human disease 39
  40. 40. Nutrition profiles, criteria By 19 January 2009, the Standing Committee for the Food Chain and Animal Health will establish the Nutrient Profiles, for food and/or certain categories of food, taking into account in particular: 1) the quantities of certain nutrients and other substances contained in the food, such as - fat, saturated fatty acids, trans-fatty acids, - sugars, - salt/sodium 2) the role and importance of the food (or of categories of food) and the contribution to the diet of the population in general or, as appropriate, of certain risk groups including children, 3) the overall nutritional composition of the food and the presence of nutrients that have been scientifically recognized as having an effect on health 40
  41. 41. Nutritional profiles, effects In 24 months from the adoption, foods not complying with the nutrient profiles will not be allowed to bear health claims. These products might use nutrition claims in two different cases: 1) where the reduction of fat, saturated fatty acids, trans-fatty acids, sugars and salt/sodium is referred to (Art. 4.2.a) 2) where a single nutrient exceeds the nutrient profile. In this case, a statement about the specific nutrient must appear in close proximity to the nutrition table on the label: ‘High […] content’ (Art. 4.2.b) 41
  42. 42. 3)Commission proposal for a Regulation on the provision of food information to consumers (COM(2008) 40 final) 42
  43. 43. Objectives Simplification: - recast horizontal Directives in a Regulation - technical specifications in the Annex (easier amendment procedures) -> vertical rules database? Uniform compliance dates? Consumers’ health protection (Art. 153 CE, White Paper on Nutrition, overweight, obesity) Making labels more efficient: - legibility (3mm font size) - allergens (information from mass caterers to consumers) - origin - alcoholic beverages (composition, energy value) 43
  44. 44. Nutrition labelling (1) Mandatory information, on Front of Pack: energy (kcal) fat saturated fat carbohydrates (of which) sugars sodium (expressed as salt-equivalent) -> per 100g/100ml/portion -> where appropriate (?), indication of the percentage of the reference intake value provided by the food (see GDAs, under CIAA guidelines on nutrition labelling) 44
  45. 45. Nutrition labelling (2) Additional information: - trans fats - mono-unsaturates - polyunsaturates - polyols - starch - fibre - protein - certain minerals and vitamins -> are voluntary, unless a claim is made upon them -> can be provided either on Front or Back of Pack 45
  46. 46. Nutrition labelling (3) Exemptions from mandatory nutrition labelling: single ingredients products (ie. raw meat, flour) wine, beer, spirits (review 5 years after entry into force) tea, coffee, spices, salt flavourings, food additives, enzymes, processing aids, gelatine, yeast small packages (largest surface <25 cm2) small quantities of foods directly supplied by manufacturer to the final consumer food sold occasionally by private persons 46