FSA Letter (CPD/0008), 16 July 2007
A meeting of the Expert Working Group on Nutritional Labelling took place in Brussels on 6 July 2007 to discuss various issues relating to the review of the Nutrition Labelling of Foodstuffs Directive. This note outlines the main issues discussed at the meeting.
The next Working Group meeting is expected to be held in September 2007.
Governance mechanism for the adoption of best practice procedures on a European level
The Commission held an exploratory discussion on its governance proposals that are intended to provide a framework that identifies and monitors proven best practice that can be promoted on an EU basis. This issue is also being discussed in the general food labelling working group and will be considered further at the next meeting of both groups.
Front of pack labelling
Discussion focussed on the extent of harmonisation needed at EU level. Member States felt that if the Commission was to set rules for front of pack labelling then these should be in the form of overarching principles, such as the nutrients that could appear and whether per 100g/ml or per portion information should be used, and that Member States should have the flexibility to decide the detail of schemes that operate within their countries.
Back of pack nutrition panel
There was further discussion of the nutrients that should appear on back of pack nutrition information. At the present time there appears to be general support for provisions based upon the group one and / or group two nutrients, with an additional requirement to label any nutrients for which a claim is being made.
Trans fatty acids
The Commission confirmed that it was considering using the following Codex definition for trans fatty acids for the purposes of nutrition labelling:
“For the purpose of the Codex Guidelines on Nutrition Labelling and other related Codex Standards and Guidelines, trans fatty acids are defined as all the geometrical isomers of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids having non-conjugated, interrupted by at least one methylene group, carbon-carbon double bonds in the trans configuration.”
Due to time constraints there was no discussion of this issue.