The Council reached a political agreement on three vertical directives on foodstuffs relating to:
- certain partly or wholly dehydrated preserved milk for human consumption,
- certain sugars intended for human consumption,
- fruit juices and certain similar products intended for human consumption.
These directives are part of a simplification exercise and will replace the current rules on preserved milk, certain sugars, and fruit juices i.e. Directives 76/118/EEC, 73/437/EEC and 93/77/EEC. They will be adopted at a later stage after legal/linguistic finalisation, and will be transmitted to the European Parliament for re-consultation on the Committee procedure applicable.
The general aim of this Directive, on which the Belgian delegation indicated that it will vote against at the moment of formal adoption, is to lay down common definitions and treatment rules for partly or wholly dehydrated preserved milk, bringing them in line with general Community legislation on foodstuffs, particularly legislation on labelling, authorised additives, hygiene and health.
Partly dehydrated milk include, for example, condensed high-fat milk, condensed skimmed milk, and sweetened condensed milk. Totally dehydrated milk include whole milk powder, dried partly skimmed milk and skimmed milk powder. The rules specify in particular that Member States are free to authorise or prohibit the addition of vitamins to their national products without prejudice to the Community rules related to free circulation of goods.
The general aim of this Directive, on which the agreement of the Council is unanimous, is to lay down definitions and common rules on the manufacturing characteristics, packaging and labelling of the products concerned so as to bring them in line with Community legislation on foodstuffs, particularly legislation on labelling, colouring matter and other authorised additives, extraction solvents and methods of analysis. Products covered include semi-white sugar, sugar, extra white sugar, invert sugar solution and syrup, glucose syrup, dextrose and fructose.
The aim of this Directive, on which the Belgian delegation indicated that it will vote against at the moment of formal adoption and the Netherlands delegation will abstain, is to lay down common rules for the manufacturing and marketing conditions for fruit juices and certain similar products, covering aspects related to labelling, colouring matters, sweeteners and other additive.
A distinction will be made at the level of product name between fruit juices made from fresh or chilled fruit, and fruit juices made from concentrate. Mixtures of fruit juice (or nectar) with fruit juice (or nectar) from concentrate will also be clearly labelled.