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New Rules For Baby Food, Special Diet Food and Low-calorie Food

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New Rules For Baby Food, Special Diet Food and Low-calorie Food

New Rules For Baby Food, Special Diet Food and Low-calorie Food
May 30
08:43 2013

Rules on the labelling and content of baby milk and foods for special medical purposes should be better defined in order to protect consumers and distinguish more clearly between foods for normal consumption and foods for specific groups, says a deal struck by European Parliament and European Council negotiators. The agreement, which has been unanimosly approved by the public health committee, also covers some low-calorie diet foods.

The new legislation, steered through Parliament by Frederique Ries (ALDE, BE), will replace various pieces of legislation currently in force in order to simplify and clarify the rules on the labelling and composition of products that make up some 1 to 2 % of the total food market. These are infant formula and follow-on formula (for babies aged six to eight months), processed cereal-based food, food for special medical purposes and total diet replacement for weight control.

“With this new regulation on special foods, the European Parliament wants to send a simple message: infants and people who are seriously ill are not ordinary consumers and the rules on safety and quality must be adapted accordingly,” says Frederique Ries.

Baby Milks

The agreed text stipulates that, in future, the labelling of milk-based preparations for babies up to the age of 12 months (including follow-on formula) will not include any pictures of infants or other pictures intended to “idealise” the use of such preparations, with the aim of ensuring that breast-feeding is not discouraged.

Parliament also invites the Commission to clarify the complex legal situation of milks intended for children aged 12 to 36 months (so-called “growing-up milks” or “toddlers’ milks”) and to propose specific legislation if necessary.

Pesticide Residues

Parliament has asked the Commission to ensure that pesticide residues in these products are reduced to a minimum. The Commission should also table a report on the possible need for legislation on foods intended for people who play sports, it says.

Glucose and Lactose Intolerance

Special rules on the labelling of gluten and lactose should be drawn up in separate legislation on consumer information about foodstuffs, the agreement says. (Lactose is not covered by harmonised rules at EU level.)

Next Steps

The committee recommends approving the agreement negotiated with EU ministers. It will be put to the vote in the full House in Strasbourg in June.

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