Food Law News - EU - 2001

Standing Committee for Foodstuffs, Extract from minutes of meeting - 17-18 December 2001

LABELLING - Foodstuffs which contain quinine and foodstuffs which contain caffeine.

Discussion on a draft Commission Directive on the labelling of foodstuffs which contain quinine and of foodstuffs which contain caffeine.

The Commission representative pointed out that the aim of the labelling measure under discussion was to inform consumers about the presence of quinine or caffeine in foodstuffs, in particular the presence of caffeine in products which consumers are generally unaware contain this substance. The draft also aims to heighten consumer awareness of the high caffeine content of certain drinks.

With regard to caffeine, most delegations generally agreed that the new version of the draft directive presented to them was an improvement on the previous version. However, a majority of the delegations were of the opinion that the proposed scope was too wide and that foodstuffs other than drinks should not be included because they did not present a risk of exposure to high levels of caffeine.

With regard to the warning, most delegations were in favour of a general message (such as "high caffeine content") rather than a warning targeted at a specific group of consumers. Since some delegations had expressed a wish to limit the caffeine content, the Commission pointed out that such a measure was not possible under the labelling legislation.

The Commission also pointed out that the caffeine labelling measure presented to the Committee would not affect existing national provisions limiting the caffeine content. An amended draft incorporating the above-mentioned comments would be drawn up for the next Committee meeting, with a view to a vote being taken.

To go to main Food Law Index page,
click here.