Food Law News - UK - 2002
FSA Consultation, 8 February 2002
LABELLING - Draft Food Labelling (England) Regulations 2002 Consultation
Draft Food Labelling (England) Regulations 2002:
- Consolidation Of The Food Labelling Regulations
- Implementation Of New European Definition Of "Meat"
- Extension Of Ingredient Listing To Fortified Flour
The Food Labelling Regulations 1996 have been amended by 12 separate statutory instruments in England since they came into force on 1 July 1996. The time is now right to consolidate them into a single text, and draft Regulations - the Food Labelling (England) Regulations 2002 - are being published today for consultation. They can be downloaded direct from the Agency's website at: http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/draft-labelling-regs.pdf
The FSA requests comments by no later than Friday 3rd May 2002.
Scope of the exercise
The FSA are taking this opportunity to implement new European provisions aimed at harmonising the way meat ingredients of products are listed and quantified on food labels. They are also proposing to extend ingredient listing requirements to flour that has been fortified with certain vitamins and minerals in accordance with the Bread and Flour Regulations 1998. They are not, at this stage, conducting a more general review of the scope and provisions of the food labelling regulations. They are planning to do this as a separate exercise when resources permit, and will provide details of this separately later.
Specific issues on which comments are requested
The FSA would be particularly interested in having views on the following issues raised by the draft Food Labelling (England) Regulations 2002, which the FSA are proposing should come into force on 1st September 2002, subject to certain transitional arrangements.
- New category name for meat ingredients: Schedule 6 to the Regulations implements EU legislation introducing a new category name "meat" for ingredient listing purposes (see item 12 in Part II). This allows the name "meat", with the name of the animal species from which it comes (or equivalent terms like "pork", "beef") to be used in ingredients lists to describe skeletal muscle from mammals and birds. The provision is subject to certain restrictions on the amounts of connective tissue and fat (see Schedule 6, Part II). From 1st January 2003, this new provision will affect the way meat ingredients are listed on meat products (see regulation 50(2)). It will also affect the way the meat content of such products is calculated for the purposes of quantitative ingredient declaration (often referred to as "QUID").
- Fortified flour: Flour to which no substances have been added other than those which are required to be present by regulation 4 of the Bread and Flour Regulations 1998 is currently exempt from ingredient listing requirements. We are proposing that this exemption now be removed (it has been deleted from regulation 18(1)), and that a transitional period of 18 months (ie until 1st March 2004 if the Regulations come into force on 1st September as planned) be allowed for any necessary changes to the labelling of affected foods (see regulation 50(3)).
- Alcoholic drinks: Drinks with an alcoholic strength by volume of more than 1.2% bottled before 1st January 1983 and labelled in accordance with the legislation in force at that time are currently exempt from much of the labelling requirements in the food labelling regulations. Is there still a need to retain this provision? If yes, what types of product need to continue to benefit from this exemption?
Paragraph 1 of Schedule 4 to the Regulations contains an extensive list of names that are to be used for certain species of fish. The FSA plans to remove this list to a separate statutory instrument on the labelling of fish and certain fish products, and will be consulting on proposals aimed at achieving this shortly.
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