12 January - 20 June 2016

Legislation headlines

  • The new regulation on Food for Specific Groups comes into force
  • Authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean MON 87708 × MON 89788 and MON 87705 × MON 89788
  • Authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean FG72 (MST-FGØ72-2)
  • Placing of trans-resveratrol on the market as a novel food ingredient
  • UV- treated milk as a novel food
  • Publication of an application for the register of protected geographical indications ‘Burrata di Andria’ (PGI)
  • Minor amendments to microbiological criteria for foodstuffs
  • FSAI national Consultation – Views wanted on 'Small Quantities' Definition for Nutrition Labelling
  • Definition, description, presentation, labelling and the protection of geographical indications for Tequilla
  • Publication of an application protected geographical indications ‘Vale of Evesham Asparagus’ (PGI)
  • Public consultation on update to health claims guidance
  • Public consultation: dietary reference values for potassium
  • Yorkshire to bid for £150K food and tourism boost
  • Has a call for a ban on adverting unhealthy foods before the watershed hit a stumbling block?
  • Scientific opinions

The new regulation on Food for Specific Groups comes into force
The Regulation (EU) No 609/2013 of the European Parliament and the Council on food intended for infants and young children, food for special medical purposes, and total diet replacement for weight control ('Food for Specific Groups') came into force on 20 July 2016.  It aims to protect specific vulnerable groups of consumers by regulating the content and marketing of these "special" food products offered to them.

Authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean MON 87708 × MON 89788 and MON 87705 × MON 89788
Monsanto Europe S.A. submitted to the competent authority of the Netherlands an application for the placing on the market of foods, food ingredients, and feed containing, consisting of, or produced from soybean MON 87708 × MON 89788 and MON 87705 × MON 89788.  The European Food Safety Authority (‘EFSA’) gave a favourable opinion and concluded that genetically modified soybean MON 87708 × MON 89788, as described in the application, is as safe as its conventional counterpart and other non-genetically modified soybean varieties.  Taking into account those considerations, authorisation should be granted to the products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean MON 87708 × MON 89788 and MON 87705 x MON 89788.

Authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean FG72 (MST-FGØ72-2)
Bayer CropScience AG submitted to the competent authority of Belgium an application in accordance for the placing on the market of foods, food ingredients, and feed containing, consisting of, or produced from FG72 soybean. The European Food Safety Authority (‘EFSA’) gave a favourable opinion and concluded that genetically modified soybean FG72, as described in the application, is as safe as its conventional counterpart and other non-genetically modified soybean varieties with respect to potential adverse effects on human and animal health and the environment.  Taking into account those considerations, authorisation should be granted to the products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean FG72. 

Placing of trans-resveratrol on the market as a novel food ingredient
DSM Nutritional Products Ltd made a request to the competent authorities of Ireland to place trans-resveratrol on the market as a novel food ingredient.  On 11 December 2015, EFSA concluded in its opinion on the safety of synthetic trans-resveratrol as a novel food that trans-resveratrol used in food supplements intended for adults is safe under the proposed conditions of use. That opinion gives sufficient grounds to establish that trans-resveratrol as a novel food ingredient complies with the criteria laid down in Article 3 of Regulation (EC) No 258/97. In its opinion, EFSA also indicated that trans-resveratrol may interact with specific medicines therefore, it is necessary to inform the consumers when consumed in combination with medicines. Directive 2002/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council lays down requirements for food supplements. The use of trans-resveratrol should be authorised without prejudice to that legislation.

UV- treated milk as a novel food
Dairy Crest Ltd made a request to the competent authorities of Ireland to place UV-treated milk on the market as a novel food.  The UV treatment of the pasteurised milk results in an increase in the vitamin D content of the milk. Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council specifies what is regarded as a significant amount for vitamins and minerals. Therefore, it is important to inform the consumer adequately on the presence of vitamin D produced by UV-treatment in the product. Regulation (EC) No 1925/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council lays down requirements on the addition of vitamins and minerals and certain other substances to foods. The use of UV-treated milk should be authorised without prejudice to the requirements of that legislation.

Publication of an application for the register of protected geographical indications ‘Burrata di Andria’ (PGI)
Italy have applied for Burrata di Andria to enter the register of protected geographical indications.  Burrata di Andria’ PGI is a cow’s milk cheese made by adding cream to stretched-curd cheese. The casing is made entirely of ‘pasta filata’ (stretched curd) enclosing a filling of cream mixed with shredded pasta filata.

Minor amendments to microbiological criteria for foodstuffs
On page 27, in the Annex amending Annex I to Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005, in the amendments to Chapter 2, in the amendment to row 2.4.1.  Amendments have been made to the Shelled and shucked products of cooked crustaceans and molluscan shellfish entry

FSAI national Consultation – Views wanted on 'Small Quantities' Definition for Nutrition Labelling
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) today announced a national consultation to seek views and opinions on EU regulations that allow for some prepacked food products to be exempt from displaying nutrition information. The consultation is in conjunction with the Department of Health and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. From 16 December 2016, EU Regulations will require that most prepacked food products must provide mandatory nutritional information to enable consumers make more informed choices when purchasing food. However, the Regulation does provide a number of exceptions*, one of which is the manufacture of small quantities of foods that are supplied directly by the manufacturer to the consumer or to local retailers. This consultation seeks opinions from interested parties to assist define ‘small quantities of product’. All interested parties are invited to express their views via an online questionnaire. The consultation will close on 22nd August 2016.

Definition, description, presentation, labelling and the protection of geographical indications for Tequilla
This entry defined the different types of Tequila, the organoleptic and physical and chemical characteristics, geographical, methods and legislation. Tequila is an alcoholic beverage obtained by distilling the juices extracted directly from the heart of the blue agave (Agave tequilana F.A.C. Weber), previously or subsequently hydrolysed or cooked, and fermented using yeast (cultured or otherwise). The juices may be enriched and blended with other sugars, provided that these account for no more than 49 % of total reducing sugars expressed in units of mass. As a result, there are two categories of tequila, depending on whether or not the juice is enriched and blended with other sugars: 100 % agave tequila (in which the entire sugar content is obtained from the raw material) and tequila (blend containing up to 49 % sugars from other sources). There are five types of Tequilla which the European Commission has defined as white, gold, aged, extra aged, and ultra-aged.

Publication of an application protected geographical indications ‘Vale of Evesham Asparagus’ (PGI)
UK have applied for protected geographical indications for Vale of Evesham Asparagus.  Vale of Evesham asparagus is the name given to green asparagus which has been grown in the defined geographical area. Vale of Evesham asparagus is produced only between the months of April and July.

Public consultation on update to health claims guidance
EFSA has launched a public consultation on its revised scientific and technical guidance  for the preparation and presentation of a health claim application. Interested parties have until 12 September 2016 to submit comments on the draft document.

Public consultation: dietary reference values for potassium
EFSA has launched a public consultation on its draft scientific opinion on dietary reference values for potassium. Potassium is an essential mineral in the human diet which plays an important role in many physiological functions. The document proposes dietary reference values for adults, children and infants, pregnant and lactating women. EFSA invites interested parties to submit written comments by 24 August 2016.

Yorkshire to bid for £150K food and tourism boost
Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss has called on Yorkshire’s world leading food community to apply for their share of a dedicated £150,000 fund. The new grant, which has been set up by Defra’s Great British Food Unit, will allow local partnerships – which could include community groups, trade bodies and National Parks – to group together and bid for up to £25,000 each. The money will then be used to champion regional food and drink, growing local businesses and potentially creating more jobs. (Defra)

Has a call for a ban on adverting unhealthy foods before the watershed hit a stumbling block?
According to the International Business Times plans to prevent the marketing of unhealthy food before the 9pm watershed on television has “hit a stumbling block.”  The article notes that not all colleagues in the cabinet support the new law. It is expected that the new cabinet will hold further discussions.  Health experts including Public Health England has advocated for restricting fast food advertising on television, and a Cancer Research UK Report has called “for banning fast food commercials, as they found it to be tempting for children, making them crave unhealthy foodstuff.”

Scientific opinions

Response to comments on the Scientific Opinion on the scientific substantiation of health claim related to short-chain fructooligosaccharides from sucrose and defecation

Polyacrylic acid, sodium salt, cross-linked

Safety assessment of 2,4,40-trifluorobenzophenone

Flavouring Group Evaluation 400

Flavouring Group Evaluation 313

Ground sunflower seed hulls

Diethyl[[3,5-bis(1,1-dimethylethyl)-4-hydroxyphenyl]methyl]phosphonate

Bacillus cereus and other Bacillus spp. including B. thuringiensis in foodstuffs

Modification of the existing MRL for cyantraniliprole in table grapes

Iron and contribution to the normal function of the immune system

Low-fat fermented milk and defence against reactivation of Herpes simplex virus

PET recycling process Polisan Hellas S.A.

Flavouring Group Evaluation 205 Revision 1

Setting of import tolerance for haloxyfop-P in soya beans

FHI LFC24 and post-prandial blood glucose responses

Basic copper (II) carbonate

Citric acid and sodium hydrogen carbonate

Bacillus cereus and other Bacillus spp. including B. thuringiensis in foodstuffs


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