Food Law News - EU - 2005

Council Press Release (C/05/336), 9 December 2005

FORTIFICATIONS / HEALTH CLAIMS Council adopts Common Positions on controls for the addition of vitamins and minerals to foods and for health claims

Extract from Minutes of Council Meeting (Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs) held on , 8-9 December 2005

Addition of vitamins and minerals to foods

The Council adopted, by a qualified majority (Denmark voted against), a common position concerning a draft regulation on the addition of vitamins, minerals and certain other substances to foods, which will be sent to the European Parliament with a view to its 2nd reading.

The draft regulation aims to harmonise national rules on the addition of nutrients (vitamins, minerals and certain other substances) to food, while ensuring that foodstuffs on sale are safe and properly and clearly labelled so that consumers can make an informed choice. Harmonisation was also deemed necessary to facilitate the free movement of these products within the Community. The text lists the vitamins and minerals that may be added to foods, as well as the forms and conditions in which they may be added.

The provisions of the draft regulation do not apply to food supplements covered by Directive 2002/46/EC and do not affect the specific provisions on foods for particular nutritional uses, novel foods and food ingredients, food additives and flavourings and authorised oenological processes.

Nutrition and health claims on foods

The Council adopted, by unanimity, a common position concerning a draft regulation on nutrition and health claims, which may be used in the labelling, presentation and advertising of foods. The common position will be sent to the European Parliament with a view to its 2nd reading.

In order to avoid misleading consumers and to ensure the proper use of claims as a marketing tool, the draft regulation intends to allow only claims that are clear and meaningful to the consumer, subject to certain conditions. The person marketing the food should be able to justify scientifically the use of the claim.

The draft regulation covers foods to be delivered as such to the final customer or supplied to restaurants, hospitals, schools, canteens and other large-scale caterers.

The draft regulation intends to harmonise national rules in order to ensure a high level of consumer and public health protection, while removing obstacles to the proper functioning of the internal market and to the free movement of foods (arising from the co-existence of different national laws).

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