Food operators: Negative vote from ENVI Committee MEPs on revised Nutrition Claims list is bad for consumers and for business

Date

01 Feb 2012

Sections

Agriculture & Food

Press release

(Brussels 31 January 2012) FoodDrinkEurope strongly regrets the negative outcome of the vote today in the European Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee for the revised nutrition claims list recently adopted by the Council.    

Food operators strongly support the use of nutrition claims ‘on pack’ to ensure that consumers are informed of a specific nutritional benefit or a nutritional improvement that has been made to a recipe (often via voluntary reformulation efforts). The outcome of today’s vote, if confirmed in the EP plenary vote on 2 February, would mean consumers would not be informed of the benefits of incremental nutritional changes/improvements to products and food operators would have less possibility to communicate their reformulation efforts, presenting disincentives to invest in costly R&D and innovation techniques for the European market.  

The proposal introduces two new nutrition claims into the Annex of EC Regulation 1924/2006 – namely, the ‘Now contains X% less’ claim The vast majority of FoodDrinkEurope members support this claim (with the exception of CEFS – Le Comité Européen des Fabricants de Sucre) and the ‘No added salt(/sodium)’ claim.   At present, the ‘Reduced in X’ claim permits food manufacturers to communicate about reductions in a nutrient compared with a range of foods in the same category over a period of time.  The introduction of a ‘Now contains X% less’ claim would offer new possibilities to food manufacturers to communicate incremental nutritional changes made to their products to the consumer by comparing old and new recipes.   Technological constraints to rolling out these smaller, step-wise reformulations are important to consider in this lengthy and costly process, not to mention the importance of gradually familiarising consumers to the new ‘improved’ taste.  


FoodDrinkEurope calls on Members of the European Parliament to vote against the objection to the revised Nutrition Claims list when voting in the Plenary on 2nd February.

-ENDS-

For further information:

Lisa McCooey, Deputy Director General/ Director of Communications

Tel.: +32 2 514 11 11, Mob.: +32 476 911 300

l.mccooey@fooddrinkeurope.eu

FoodDrinkEurope’s mission is to represent the food and drink industries of the EU – the largest manufacturing sector in the EU in terms of turnover and employment. FoodDrinkEurope works with European and international institutions, in order to contribute to the development of a legislative and economic framework addressing the competitiveness of industry, food quality and safety, consumer protection and respect for the environment. FoodDrinkEurope's membership consists of 25 national federations, including 3 observers, 26 European sector associations and 18 major food and drink companies. For more information on FoodDrinkEurope and its activities, please visit: www.fooddrinkeurope.eu