FSA Consultation Letter, 17 June 2003
The FSA have published for consultation 'The Food (Provisions relating to Labelling) (England) Regulations 2003'. Responses are requested by: 7 September 2003
Changes to the labelling rules for foods containing caffeine or quinine were agreed in Brussels on 22 February last year. Member States agreed that caffeine and quinine should be declared in ingredient lists when used as a flavouring. On the 18 July 2002 Commission Directive 2002/67/EC was published on the labelling of foodstuffs containing quinine and those containing caffeine. Current legislation requires only the declaration "flavouring", although many manufacturers already voluntarily indicate when caffeine or quinine has been added.
The new rules also require drinks containing caffeine in excess of 150 milligrams per litre to carry a declaration in the same field of vision as the name of the food. The declaration "High caffeine content", together with the amount of caffeine expressed in milligrams per 100 millilitres, will alert consumers to unexpectedly high levels of caffeine in some drinks. This will not apply to drinks based on tea or coffee, or coffee or tea extract if the name of the food already makes that fact clear to consumers.
The Food (Provisions relating to Labelling) (England) Regulations 2003 , which implement these new requirements, are being published today for consultation. Copies of the consultation documents can also be downloaded direct from the Agency's website.
The FSA are taking the opportunity of this exercise to update certain references to the food labelling Directive that appear in the Food Labelling Regulations 1996 and the Genetically Modified and Novel Foods (Labelling) (England) Regulations 2000.