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Nutrient profiles saved by EP Legal Committee, but vigilance required

Some have interpreted the European Commission’s "Better Regulation" agenda as an opportunity to eliminate nutrient profiles from European legislation. On 16 June, the European Parliament’s Legal Committee voted on the Regulatory Fitness (REFIT) Programme which held two amendments seeking to scrap nutrient profiles. Fortunately, these amendments were rejected. However, a new battle around nutrient profiles may well be around the corner. According to the WHO, nutrient profiling (...)

More transparent EU Food Information for Consumers: Regulation comes into force. Still some things missing.

EU Regulation 1169/2011 entered into force on 13 December 2014, and will affect how food information is provided to consumers. This replaces previous rules on food labelling and includes mandatory nutrition information on processed foods; mandatory origin labelling of unprocessed meat from pigs, sheep, goats and poultry; highlighting allergens in the list of ingredients, e.g. peanuts or milk, including non-prepacked foods and those sold in restaurants and cafés; and better legibility i.e. (...)

Traffic light labelling increases healthier food choices on a long term basis

Several recent studies on the ’traffic light system’ of food labelling show that this visual packaging warning on food products significantly affects the consumer’s choice in favour of healthier foods. Most importantly, traffic light labelling increases the right choices on a long-term basis with no evidence of label fatigue. The result of a US study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine shows that traffic light labelling and product placement (...)

Plenary meeting of the European Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health

The Plenary session of 25 September 2014 focused on the Annual Monitoring Report 2014 and on commitments regarding the composition of foods (reformulation), availability of healthy food options and portion sizes. Disclaimer: this overview is based on DG Sanco’s Flash Report What is new Jan Wollgast from the Joint Research Centre (JRC) provided an overview of scientific news and policy developments in the fields of nutrition and physical activity (reduce inequalities in access (...)

[CLYMBOL 2nd Annual Meeting] Role of health-related claims and symbols in consumer behaviour

On 24 September 2014, the 2nd annual meeting of the CLYMBOL project took place in Budapest. The project started in 2012 and is supported by the European Commission under the Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology theme of the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development. The objectives of CLYMBOL is to determine how health-related symbols and claims are understood by consumers and how they affect purchasing and consumption, taking into account both (...)
Also about: Consumer Protection

European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) advises on infant and follow-on formulas, less protein content, additional nutritional enrichment risk to the infants’ metabolism

EFSA has made recommendations on the intake levels of energy, macronutrients and micronutrients in infant and follow-on formulas. The recommendations are included in a Scientific Opinion on the essential composition of infant and follow-on formulas, which reviews advice provided by the Scientific Committee on Food in 2003, taking into account more recent evidence. It follows an EFSA Opinion published in 2013 on nutrient requirements and dietary intakes of infants and young children in the (...)

[EPHA overview] France to introduce new public health law

On 19 June, the French Minister of Health, Marisol Touraine, unveiled the broad measures planned for their new public health law. Measures regarding third-party payers, food labelling and tobacco control are already under consideration. This bill, which has been in the pipeline for more than a year, will be introduced in the Council of Ministers in September and discussed in the Parliament at the beginning of next year. The third-party payer in GP consultation One of the main (...)

[EPHA Briefing] Self- and Co-Regulation in the field of Public Health in the EU (update)

As the second meeting of DG CONNECT’s Community of Practice (CoP) on self- and co-regulation convenes today to discuss its vision and ’identify success factors of self- and co-regulatory actions’, EPHA launches an update of its Briefing on Self- and Co-regulation in the field of Public Health in the EU. The briefing aims to give EPHA members an essential overview of ’alternative regulatory mechanisms’ such as self- and co-regulation, the rationale behind, as (...)

EPHA open letter to Competitiveness Council in support of Governments’ right to protect the health of its citizens

In light of the upcoming meeting of the Competitiveness Council (Internal Market, Industry, Research and Space) of 20-21 February, set to discuss "the impact of the EU acquis of hybrid nutrition labelling system recommended in some Member States" (namely, the UK voluntary ’traffic light’ scheme), EPHA sent an open letter to the Council to express its strong support. Subject: 3295th meeting of the Competitiveness Council (Internal Market, Industry, Research and Space) – (...)

NOURISHING: World Cancer Research Fund International’s Food Policy Framework for Healthy Diets

The World Cancer Research Fund International (WCRF), an EPHA member organisation, has just published NOURISHING - an updated version of its Food Policy Framework for Healthy Diets. This publication places policies into three broad and interlinked domains: food environment, food systems and behaviour change communication. To develop an effective response to unhealthy eating, governments should implement policy actions from all of the ten policy areas. These actions can be developed and (...)