12 January - 20 June 2016

Legislation headlines

  • MEP vote to eliminate nutrient profiles
  • Entering a name in the register of protected geographical indications (Rosée des Pyrénées Catalanes (PGI))
  • Approving non-minor amendments to the specification for a name entered in the register of protected designations of origin (Olive de Nîmes (PDO))
  • Amendment regarding the analysis of inorganic arsenic, lead and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and certain performance criteria for analysis
  • Amendment regarding the substance ‘rafoxanide’
  • Application for approval of an amendment to the product specification of protected designations of origin ‘Noix de Grenoble’
  • Approval of sweet whey as a basic substance
  • Single EU School Scheme for Milk, Fruit and Vegetables
  • Approving the basic substance diammonium phosphate
  • Regarding the extension of the approval periods of the active substances bentazone, cyhalofop butyl, diquat, famoxadone, flumioxazine, DPX KE 459 (flupyrsulfuron-methyl), metalaxyl-M, picolinafen, prosulfuron, pymetrozine, thiabendazole and thifensulfuron-methyl
  • Publication of an application in the register of protected designations of origin ‘Steirische Käferbohne’ (PDO)
  • Scientific opinions

MEP vote to eliminate nutrient profiles
Due to ”serious and persistent problems which arise in the implementation of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods, including problems of distortion of competition, to review the scientific basis of this regulation and how useful and realistic it is”, Members of the European Parliament have voted to discard the concept of nutrient profiles.  According to Food Navigator there were 402 for and 285 against.

Entering a name in the register of protected geographical indications (Rosée des Pyrénées Catalanes (PGI))
Spain and France's application to register the name ‘Rosée des Pyrénées Catalanes’ was published in the Official Journal of the European Union.  As no statement of opposition under Article 51 of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 has been received by the Commission, the name ‘Rosée des Pyrénées Catalanes’ should therefore be entered in the register.

Approving non-minor amendments to the specification for a name entered in the register of protected designations of origin (Olive de Nîmes (PDO))
The Commission has examined France's application for the approval of amendments to the specification for the protected designation of origin ‘Olive de Nîmes’.  Since the amendments in question are not minor within the meaning of Article 53 of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012, the Commission published the amendment application in the Official Journal of the European Union as required by Article 50 of that Regulation. As no statement of opposition under Article 51 of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 has been received by the Commission, the amendments to the specification have been approved.

Amendment regarding the analysis of inorganic arsenic, lead and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and certain performance criteria for analysis
The maximum levels for certain contaminants in food have been established by Commission Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006 (3). Commission Regulation (EU) 2015/1006 (4) amended Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006 to set maximum levels for inorganic arsenic, consequently it is appropriate to lay down specific procedures related to analysis for inorganic arsenic.  The EN standard 13804 related to the determination of elements and their chemical species has been updated, it is therefore appropriate to update the reference to that standard accordingly. The maximum levels for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in cocoa beans and derived products have to be established on a fat basis. Proficiency tests performed by the European Union Reference Laboratory for PAH indicate divergences in the determination of the fat content. It is therefore appropriate to harmonise the approach for the determination of the fat content. Following advice of the European Union Reference Laboratory for heavy metals in feed and food, it is appropriate to amend the definition of the limit of quantification and the performance criteria related to the limit of detection for the methods of analysis for lead, cadmium, mercury and inorganic tin.

Amendment regarding the substance ‘rafoxanide’
Table 1 of the Annex to Commission Regulation (EU) No 37/2010 sets out the pharmacologically active substances and their classification regarding MRLs in foodstuffs of animal origin. Rafoxanide is currently included in that table as an allowed substance, for bovine and ovine species, applicable to muscle, fat, liver, kidney and milk. The provisional maximum residue limits for that substance set out for bovine and ovine milk expired on 31 December 2015.  An application for the extension of the time period applying to the provisional MRL for rafoxanide in bovine and ovine milk has been submitted to the European Medicines Agency (EMA).  The EMA, based on the opinion of the Committee for Medicinal Products for Veterinary Use has considered that an extension of the existing provisional MRL for rafoxanide in bovine and ovine milk would allow completion of scientific studies in progress and has therefore recommended the extension of the provisional MRL until 31 December 2017.

Application for approval of an amendment to the product specification of protected designations of origin ‘Noix de Grenoble’
France have applied for amendment to the PDO for Noix de Grenoble.  Headings affected by the amendment include description of product, geographical area, proof of origin, production method, labelling.  Noxi de Grenoble are walnuts in shells from one or more varieties.

Approval of sweet whey as a basic substance
The Commission received on 20 April 2015 an application from the Institut Technique de l'Agriculture Biologique (ITAB) for the approval of sweet whey as a basic substance.  The Commission asked the European Food Safety Authority for scientific assistance.  The documentation provided by the applicant shows that whey fulfils the criteria of a foodstuff.  Moreover, it is not predominantly used for plant protection purposes but nevertheless is useful in plant protection in a product consisting of the substance and water. Consequently, it is to be considered as a basic substance.  The substance whey as specified in Annex I is approved as a basic substance subject to the conditions laid down in that Annex.

Single EU School Scheme for Milk, Fruit and Vegetables
New rules for a single EU School Scheme for Milk, Fruit & Vegetables to cover two currently separate school schemes - the School Fruit Scheme and the School Milk Scheme - have been supported by Member States at an Agriculture Council meeting in Luxembourg. In addition to the greater efficiencies and reduced administrative burden brought by using a common framework, the main changes in the new arrangements will be an increase in available funding, and greater emphasis put on the educational elements for children. At the same time, the new text will respect concerns about flexibility for Member States. With the Council having approved the European Parliament's position, the new Regulation will be formally adopted and published in the Official Journal in the coming weeks.

Approving the basic substance diammonium phosphate
The Commission received an application from the Institut Technique de l'Agriculture Biologique (ITAB) for the approval of diammonium phosphate as a basic substance.  The EFSA presented to the Commission a Technical Report on the substance concerned.  Diammonium phosphate is authorised to be used in oenology by Commission Regulation (EC) No 606/200.  The documentation provided by the applicant shows that diammonium phosphate is not predominantly used for plant protection purposes but nevertheless is useful in plant protection in a product consisting of the substance and water.  It has appeared from the examinations made that diammonium phosphate may be expected to satisfy, in general, the requirements laid down in Article 23 of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009, in particular with regard to the uses which were examined and detailed in the Commission review report. It is therefore appropriate to approve diammonium phosphate as a basic substance.

Regarding the extension of the approval periods of the active substances bentazone, cyhalofop butyl, diquat, famoxadone, flumioxazine, DPX KE 459 (flupyrsulfuron-methyl), metalaxyl-M, picolinafen, prosulfuron, pymetrozine, thiabendazole and thifensulfuron-methyl
The approval periods of the active substances bentazone, cyhalofop butyl, diquat, famoxadone, flumioxazine, DPX KE 459 (flupyrsulfuron-methyl), metalaxyl-M, picolinafen, prosulfuron, pymetrozine, thiabendazole and thifensulfuron-methyl were extended by Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/1885. The approval of those substances will expire on 30 June 2016. Applications for the renewal of the inclusion of those substances in Annex I to Council Directive 91/414/EEC were submitted in accordance with Article 4 of Commission Regulation (EU) No 1141/2010.  Due to the fact that the assessment of the substances has been delayed for reasons beyond the control of the applicants, the approvals of those active substances are likely to expire before a decision has been taken on their renewal. It is therefore necessary to extend their approval periods.

Publication of an application in the register of protected designations of origin ‘Steirische Käferbohne’ (PDO)
The ‘Steirische Käferbohne’ designates the bi-coloured spotted or marbled variety of the botanical species Phaseolus coccineus L. (runner bean) adapted to the defined geographical area. It is sold as a dry bean or ready-to-eat. It is available as a fresh product only for a short period due to its limited shelf life.

Scientific opinions

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