Food Law News - UK - 2005

FSA Consultation Letter, 23 May 2005

LABELLING - Draft Food Labelling (Amendment) (England) (No. 2) Regulations 2005

We are informing you that new European ingredient listing rules (Directive 2005/26/EC) have now been published. Responses are requested by: 20 June 2005

For a copy of the documents, see:

Consultation details

The Directive lists provisional exemptions from allergen labelling requirements in the case of certain ingredients, that are derived from allergenic foods and are not themselves, allergenic. The Directive is attached for your information. We are required to introduce national measures to implement these provisions by 21 September 2005 . We are inviting your comments on the draft Regulations, the Food Labelling (Amendment) ( England ) (No. 2) Regulations 2005, a Partial Regulatory Impact Assessment and accompanying draft guidance notes. The Regulations would apply to England only. Separate but parallel legislation is being prepared in Scotland , Wales , and Northern Ireland .

Allergen labelling rules (the Food Labelling (Amendment) (No. 2) ( England ) Regulations 2004), implementing EC Directive 2003/89/EC, came into force in November 2004. This amendment removed the 25% compound ingredient exemption and required the indication of specified allergens whenever they or their derivatives are present in pre-packed foods, including alcoholic drinks. Products must comply with these rules as from 25 November 2005 . However, products placed on the market before this date, or labelled prior to this date, may be sold.

The Commission recognised that not all ingredients that will need to be labelled according to the allergen rules will necessarily be allergenic in practice. This is because in some cases processing removes the allergenic factor. Consequently, there is provision for derivatives of specified allergens that are no longer allergenic to be exempted from allergen labelling rules, on the basis of assessment of the scientific evidence.

The essence of the new Regulations therefore is to specify a list of ingredients derived from allergenic foods that do not have to be labelled according to the allergen rules. This will avoid over-labelling, which would unnecessarily limit consumer choice, and minimise labelling costs.

Please see the attached RIA below

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