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Europe approves new rules on foods for vulnerable persons

The new regulation seeks to clarify the legal framework relating to these foods for certain vulnerable persons such as babies and young children

The Council today approved an agreement reached with the European Parliament on foods
considered essential for certain vulnerable persons such as babies and young children. It herewith confirmed the deal reached between the Cyprus presidency and representatives of the European Parliament on 14 November and paved the way for the formal adoption of the new EU regulation by the European Parliament and the Council.
The new regulation seeks to clarify the legal framework relating to these foods by avoiding the overlap between the specific legislation applicable to such foods and the legislation applicable to normal food. It further aims at closing legal loopholes under the existing system and ensuring that the EU rules on such foods are applied in the same manner in all member states. It thereby contributes to providing legal clarity in the interests of both consumers and producers, and to preventing distortions in the internal market.
The regulation replaces directive 2009/39/EC on foodstuffs intended for particular nutritional uses and a number of Commission acts implementing this directive.
The new rules cover the following four categories of food:
· infant formula and follow-on formula;
· processed cereal-based foods and baby foods for infants and young children;
· foods for special medical purposes;
· total daily diet foods for weight control.
The regulation defines general compositional and information requirements for these categories of foods and empowers the Commission to adopt delegated acts to establish specific compositional and information requirements for each category of food.
Infant formula and follow-on formula are not allowed to be labelled, presented and advertised in a way that discourages breast-feeding. For the labelling of infant formula and follow-on formula pictures of infants idealising the use of these categories of food are
forbidden. Idealising pictures are also proscribed for the presentation and advertising of
infant formula.
Foods for sportsmen, milk-based drinks and similar products marketed as "growing up
milks" are excluded from the scope of the new rules. The Commission must, however,
report on the necessity of rules for these products after having consulted the European
Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
The current rules on the use of statements "gluten-free" and "very low gluten" will be
covered by regulation (EU) 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers,
as will (still to be agreed) rules on the use of statements indicating the absence or reduced presence of lactose in food.

by S. C.
07 january 2013, World News > Europe

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