The Council reached, with a qualified majority, political agreement on a Common Position concerning the proposed Directive on Food Supplements (see IP/01/1324). The Directive will harmonise the substantially diverging national rules on the sale of food supplements in the form of pills and capsules. The proposed legislation sets out harmonised safety rules for food supplements that contain vitamins and minerals. It requires that maximum limits for vitamins and minerals intake will be set based on scientific risk assessment and data on vitamin and minerals intake from other foods, while also taking due account of what is considered an adequate vitamin and mineral intake for an average person. The labels will give consumers detailed information on vitamin and mineral content and on daily use, including a warning about exceeding the intake as set out in the manufacturer's instructions. The Common Position will be formally adopted without discussion at a forthcoming Council meeting.
European Food Authority
The Presidency gave a brief update on the state of play before the second reading in the European Parliament. Commissioner Byrne highlighted the importance of avoiding conciliation by showing flexibility. He stressed the urgency of steps to be taken (selection of members of the management board, selection of an Executive Director and selection of New Scientific Committees). On the seat of the Agency, he emphasised the importance of a central location to facilitate the co-operation with the EU institutions who remain responsible for risk management, to ensure easy access for scientists to the agency and to allow the selection and retention of qualified staff. See also Speech/01/415.
Labelling and Traceability of GMOs
Commissioner Byrne provided a brief overview of the objectives and content of the two draft Regulations proposed by the Commission on July 25th and stated that together with Directive 2001/18 on the deliberate release of GMOs they offered a basis for the future approach of the EU towards GMOs.