Tougher food labelling ahead
By FWi staff
STRICTER labelling laws are on the way from Brussels.
The labels are intended to give consumers a clearer idea of what is contained in manufactured foods and to help people with allergies avoid certain products.
In particular, the proposal seeks to do away with “the 25%” rule.
“Currently the components of compound ingredients, such as jam, which form less than 25% of a final product, need not be indicated on the label,” says the EU Commission.
The rule was introduced 20 years ago to avoid over-long labels. “But since then, food production has become more and more complex, and people eat a lot more processed foods.”
EU food safety commissioner, David Byrne, said the new laws would boost consumer confidence and were a direct response to repeated requests for better information.
He also indicated that, with up to 8% of children and 3% of adults susceptible to food allergies, food manufacturers would have to identify any allergenic ingredients.
A list is to be drawn up, including cereals containing gluten, crustaceans, fish and various nuts.
The legislation will have to be approved by member states and the European parliament – a process which takes up to two years.