FSA Letter, 26 July 2002
A Council Working Group meeting was held in Brussels on 25 July to discuss a Danish Presidency compromise text.
There was no clear overall support for the Danish Presidency text and a number of member states continue to have reservations about various parts of the proposals. Concerns continue to be expressed about retaining the derogation allowing ingredients to be listed other than in descending order, even at less than 2% of the finished food. There are also concerns about retaining the derogation allowing special rules for listing mutually substitutable ingredients making up less than 2% of the finished food.
There was criticism of the Danish redraft of the text on alcoholic drinks, some wanting the references to the Committee procedures to be deleted, others supporting a return to the Commission's original text.
There was a lot of concern about the list of allergens in Annex IIIa. The phrase "and products thereof" continues to fuel the debate, and it is clear that many member states are concerned in particular that ingredients derived from gluten-containing cereals that do not themselves contain gluten should be excluded from the list (eg glucose syrup, dextrose etc).
There was no support for the UK suggestion that "pine nuts" and "coconut" should be added to the list of products covered by the term "nuts", although the Commission appeared to prefer not to define "nuts" in the Annex but to address this sort of issue through guidance.
There will be another Council Working Group meeting on 6 September. The Presidency is planning to produce a revised compromise text. The Commission is planning to publish a revised proposal of its own. Both documents are expected to be considered at the 6 September meeting.