Food Law News - EU - 1997
5 November 1997: NUTRITION LABELLING - Review of the Nutrition Labelling Directive: 90/946/EEC
MAFF Letter, 5 November 1997
Review of the Nutrition Labelling Directive: 90/946/EEC
Early in 1997, the Ministry invited comments on the Nutrition Labelling Directive. These comments have now been considered and a submission made to the European Commission. A copy of the submission has been circulated for information.
The letter contains the following four major points:
- Nutrition labelling should be compulsory whether or not a claim has been made.
- More information should be given in the prescribed format.
- Consideration should be given to making compulsory per serving information in addition to per 100g/ml information or introducing some other more user-friendly format.
- The opportunity of the review should be taken to develop criteria for nutrition claims.
Certain additional points described as 'more minor, but still important', are listed and cover the following:
- Fibre must be defined and an agreement reached on the method of analysis (Article 1)
- There should be definitions for vitamins and minerals e.g. vitamin A (Article 1)
- There should be flexibility to require information about additional nutrients under the Directive if it is felt there is a public health issue. (Article 1.4)
- It should be permitted to give Guideline Daily Amounts (Article 1.4)
- Voluntary nutrition information about trans fatty acids should be allowed even if no claim is made (Article 4.3)
- 'Salt' should be allowed in place of 'sodium' or alternatively, included in brackets after sodium, in each case quantifying the sodium content (Article 4)
- The order of the listed nutrients should be changed (Article 4.1)
- Fat and calories per serving should be permitted to be given (or repeated) separately from the nutrition panel (Article 4)
- The Directive should include a conversion factor of 1kcal/1g - 5KJ/g for polydextrose; and two different factors for fat, i.e. 4kcal/g for those fats in the range 1kcal-4.5kcal/g and 9kcal/g for all other fats above 4.5kcal/g (Article 5.1)
- 'Of which' should be changed to 'consisting of' (Article 6.6)
- It should be permitted to round values to avoid giving an impression of disproportionate precision (Article 6.8)
- The vitamin and mineral RDAs should be updated in line with the 31st Report of the Scientific Committee for Food. (Annex)
- Provision should be made to use the term 'Folic acid' instead of 'folacin (Annex)
- There should be provisions for vitamins and minerals to be specified if 15% of the RDA is contained within a serving, rather than in 100g/ml (Annex footnote)
The Ministry letter gives some supporting data on each of the above points.
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