NEW STRENGTHENED RULES FOR FOOD FOR INFANTS, YOUNG CHILDREN AND FOOD FOR SPECIFIC MEDICAL PURPOSE 12/06/13
Today, the European Parliament gave its green light on a set of clearer rules protecting specific groups of consumers such as infants and young children. The aim is to better protect consumers on the content and marketing of these “special” food products, and to provide a better environment for businesses, as well as better application of rules.
More and more food products exist on the market that target specific groups of the population. The EU rules in force for these products are complex and fragmented since different sets of rules and concepts can overlap and create confusion for businesses and national authorities who apply the rules.
This new Regulation on food for specific groups will streamline the rules that apply throughout the EU, by eliminating those that are unnecessary and contradictory and by replacing them with a new, simplified Framework.
The new Framework will cover:
- food for infants and young children;
- food for people with specific medical conditions;
- food for weight control that replace the totality of the daily diet.
The new Regulation will do away with the dated broad concept of 'foodstuffs for particular nutritional uses', which has proven not fit for today’s market and legal context.
Under the new approach, food for other population groups will fall under different legislation. For example, rules on food for coeliacs will be transferred to the Regulation on Food Information to Consumers.
The Regulation will be published in the EU Official Journal in the coming weeks and will only apply from 2016 to allow time for businesses to adapt their commercial practices. No products will however have to be withdrawn from the market.
Over the next two years, the Commission will: adopt detailed rules (delegated acts) on food covered by the Regulation; and present two reports on the necessity to develop, in the future, specific rules for so-called 'growing up milks' for young children and food for sports people.
The Commission will also adopt specific rules on the use of statements on the absence or reduced presence of lactose in foods.