Food Law News - EU - 2006

Committee Report, 8 December 2006

CLAIMS – Discussions within the Standing Committee concerning the use of the claim "lactose-free"

Extract from the report of the meeting of the 8th December of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health - Section on General Food Law

Letter from Spain concerning the use of the claim "lactose-free" and consequent discussion regarding the definition of conditions of claims under Directive 89/398/EEC (Document SANCO/A/2006/14434)

Spain had asked for a discussion within the Committee on the use of lactose-free or reduced-lactose labelling on foodstuffs and whether Members States applied specific criteria for the use of such labelling. During the discussion many Member States indicated that they would support Community harmonisation of the level of lactose that should be met to justify the claim “lactose-free”. The discussion confirmed, as agreed during the discussion on the Regulation on nutrition and health claims made on food, that such conditions should be defined under the legislation on food for particular nutritional uses without prejudice to such conditions being applicable to normal foodstuffs in accordance with the existing provisions of the legislation.

It was concluded that many delegations would support the harmonization of conditions for the use of lactose-free or reduced lactose and, to that end, a Commission measure could be examined. The Committee also discussed the possibility to advance the work with other work on claims under the dietetic foods framework related to the content of sodium and gluten provided it would not lead to undue delays. Some Member States considered that the opinion of the European Food Safety Authority would be useful in order to clarify the levels of lactose that could be supported by a wide range of individuals concerned, for example those with galactosaemia or lactose intolerance.

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