Food Law News - EU - 2006

Council Press Release (13956/06), 25 October 2006

SPIRIT DRINKS / ORGANIC FOOD– Discussions in the Council of Ministers

The following are extracts from the report of the Agriculture and Fisheries council meeting held on 24-25 October 2006


The Presidency noted that a broad majority within the Council could support the general approach on the proposal for a regulation on the definition, description, presentation and labelling of spirit drinks, as a preliminary basis for discussions with the European Parliament(13867/06+ADD1).

The Council noted the views expressed by delegations and the intention of the Presidency to keep the Special Committee on Agriculture fully informed and updated of its discussions with the European Parliament, as well as to return to the legal and WTO aspects of this file.

The proposal presented by the Commission on 15 December 2005 (15902/05) under the co-decision procedure is aimed at consolidating and updating current internal market legislation on spirit drinks with a view to making it clearer to read and easier to apply.

The aim of the Finnish Presidency is to make as much progress as possible on this proposal towards reaching a political agreement with the European Parliament at first reading.


The Council held a policy debate on a proposal for Council Regulation on organic production and labelling of organic products1. The other proposal on organic foodstuffs amends Regulation (EEC) No 2092/91 on organic production of agricultural products and indications referring thereto in agricultural products and foodstuffs.

The debate was focused on labelling matters of organic products. A large majority of delegations agreed that the proposals of the Presidency for a different approach for labelling and the use of EU logo by means of three alternatives, depending on the content of organic ingredients in the product - 95% "golden standard", 70% "emphasised labelling" and below 70 % "ingredients labelling" - go in the right direction in order to find a compromise solution. The EU logo should be reserved only for products in the first category. The percentage statement of organic ingredients should be indicated for products in second category.

The Commission declared that it was also open to such proposals. The comments of delegations will be taken into account when the Special Committee on Agriculture will prepare an overall compromise text, which will be submitted to the Council in December.

A policy debate on the main issues of this file was also held by the Council on 22 May 2006 (9170/06 press 132).

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