12 January - 20 June 2016

Legislation headlines

  • Government responds to the House of Commons Health Select Committee report on Childhood obesity
  • Entering a name in the register of protected designations of origin (Oriel Sea Minerals and Oriel Sea Salt (PDO))
  • Entering a name in the register of protected geographical indications (Pão de Ló de Ovar (PGI))
  • Entering a name in the register of protected designations of origin (Steirische Käferbohne (PDO))
  • Application to enter a name in the register of protected geographical indications (‘Olio di Calabria’ (PGI))
  • Refusing to authorise certain health claims made on foods
  • Amending Regulation (EU) No 432/2012 establishing a list of permitted health claims made on foods
  • Amending and correcting Regulation (EU) No 10/2011 on plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with food
  • Scientific opinion

Government responds to the House of Commons Health Select Committee report on Childhood obesity
The Government has published its response to the House of Commons Select Committee report on Childhood obesity – brave and bold action.  In brief the Government endorses:

  • Public Health England’s recommendations on restrictions on advertising to children
  • Reformulation and portion size – including a cap of portion size and the sugar reformulation programme.  The report states that the Government should introduce a parallel programme of reformulation to reduce the overall calorie content of food, including reducing the levels of fats.
  • A tax on full sugar soft drinks and notes the sugary drinks tax should be designed and introduced alongside an evaluation of its effectiveness.
  • Labelling - a labelling system showing teaspoons of sugar (where a teaspoon is defined as 4 grams) provides a clear and compelling visual representation of the amount of sugar in a particular product. A labelling system of this kind should be applied to a single-serving portions of foods and drinks with added sugar, to aid parents reducing their children’s sugar consumption to recommended levels, as some 500ml bottles of soft drinks contain nearly triple a young child’s recommended daily amount of sugar in a single bottle. The Government should offer manufacturers the chance to introduce this labelling voluntarily, but should be clear that it will be pursuing the introduction of labelling on a mandatory basis if companies do not adopt the voluntary scheme.
  • Clear nutritional guidelines should be published, setting out food standards recommended for packed lunches as well as food supplied by schools.
  • Public Health England’s recommendation that clear national standards for healthy foods should be adopted, implemented and monitored across the public sector, including national and local government and the NHS.
  • Government must protect funding for the National Child Measurement Programme.
  • Calorie reduction  - Government will need to adopt a broader approach than the PHE report, and should consider calorie intake as a whole.
  • The role of physical activity

Entering a name in the register of protected designations of origin (Oriel Sea Minerals and Oriel Sea Salt (PDO))
Ireland's applications to register the name ‘Oriel Sea Minerals’ and ‘Oriel Sea Salt’  were 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 names ‘Oriel Sea Minerals’ and ‘Oriel Sea Salt’ should therefore be entered in the register.

Entering a name in the register of protected geographical indications (Pão de Ló de Ovar (PGI))
Portugal's application to register the name ‘Pão de Ló de Ovar’ 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 ‘Pão de Ló de Ovar’ should therefore be entered in the register.

Entering a name in the register of protected designations of origin (Steirische Käferbohne (PDO))
Pursuant to Article 50(2)(a) of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012, Austria's application to register the name ‘Steirische Käferbohne’ 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 ‘Steirische Käferbohne’ should therefore be entered in the register.

Application to enter a name in the register of protected geographical indications (‘Olio di Calabria’ (PGI))
Italy have applied to enter ‘Olio di Calabria’ in the register of protected geographical indications. When released for consumption, the PGI extra-virgin olive oil ‘Olio di Calabria’ must comply with certain criteria.  The PGI ‘Olio di Calabria’ consists exclusively of extra-virgin olive oil produced from olives from the following local cultivars that are widespread in the region.

Refusing to authorise certain health claims made on foods

  • Following an application from SmithKline Beecham Limited, the Authority was required to deliver an opinion on ‘caffeine helps to increase alertness’.  In its opinion, the Authority recalled that a claim on caffeine and increased alertness in the general adult population for products containing at least 75 mg of caffeine per serving had already been assessed by the Authority with a favourable outcome . In the present application, the applicant proposed that, in order to bear the claim, a product should contain a dose of caffeine of at least 40 mg per serving. The Authority concluded that, on the basis of the data presented, a cause and effect relationship had not been established between the consumption of caffeine and increased alertness under the conditions of use proposed by the applicant.
  • Following an application from BASF SE and Stepan Lipid Nutrition, the Authority was required to deliver an opinion on a health claim related to an equimolar mixture (marketed under the trade names Clarinol® and Tonalin®) of the two conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) isomers c9,t11 and t10,c12, and contribution to a reduction in body fat mass. The claim proposed by the applicant was worded as follows: ‘Consumption of Clarinol® or Tonalin® contributes to a reduction in body fat mass’.  The Commission and the Member States received the scientific opinion from the Authority, which concluded that, on the basis of the data presented, a cause and effect relationship had not been established.
  • Following an application from Synbiotec S.r.l the Authority was required to deliver an opinion on a health claim related to SYNBIO®, a combination of Lactobacillus rhamnosus IMC 501® and Lactobacillus paracasei IMC 502®, and maintenance of normal defecation.The claim proposed by the applicant was worded as follows: ‘SYNBIO® persists in the intestinal tract and favours the natural regularity contributing to maintain and improve human intestinal well-being’.  The Commission and the Member States received the scientific opinion from the Authority, which concluded that, on the basis of the data presented, a cause and effect relationship had not been established. 
  • Following an application from WILD-Valencia SAU, the Authority was required to deliver an opinion on a health claim related to a FRUIT UP®, a carbohydrate extract from carob pods (Ceratonia siliqua L.), and a reduction of post-prandial blood glucose responses. The claim proposed by the applicant was worded as follows: ‘FRUIT UP® reduces post-prandial blood glucose responses compared to high-glycaemic carbohydrates’.  The Commission and the Member States received the scientific opinion from the Authority, which concluded that, on the basis of the data presented, a cause and effect relationship had not been established.
  • Following an application from Nerthus ApS, submitted pursuant to Article 13(5) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006, the Authority was required to deliver an opinion on a health claim related to a combination of pomegranate pomace extract (standardised by its content of punicalagins) and greater galangal rhizome powder (standardised by its content of acetoxychavicol acetate) and an increase in the number of motile spermatozoa in semen. The claim proposed by the applicant was worded as follows: ‘A combination of standardised pomegranate pomace extract and greater galangal rhizome powder increases the number of motile spermatozoa in semen’. The Commission and the Member States received the scientific opinion from the Authority, which concluded that, on the basis of the data presented, a cause and effect relationship had not been established.
  • Following an application from Lallemand Health Solutions, submitted pursuant to Article 13(5) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006, the Authority was required to deliver an opinion on a health claim related to Bifidobacterium bifidum CNCM I-3426 and defence against pathogens in the upper respiratory tract. The claim proposed by the applicant was worded as follows: ‘Bifidobacterium bifidum CNCM I-3426 increases the proportion of healthy days by maintaining normal immune function in healthy adults during everyday life events such as moderate stress’. The Commission and the Member States received the scientific opinion from the Authority, which concluded that, on the basis of the data presented, a cause and effect relationship has not been established.
  • Following an application from Tchibo GmbH, submitted pursuant to Article 13(5) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006, the Authority was required to deliver an opinion on a health claim related to coffee C21, a coffee standardised by its content of caffeoylquinic acids, trigonelline and N-methylpyridinium, and reduction of DNA damage by decreasing spontaneous DNA strand breaks. The claim proposed by the applicant was worded as follows: ‘Regular consumption of coffee C21 contributes to the maintenance of DNA integrity in cells of the body’. The Commission and the Member States received the scientific opinion from the Authority, which concluded that, on the basis of the data presented, a cause and effect relationship had not been established.
  • Following an application from Vifor Ltd, the Authority was required to deliver an opinion on a health claim related to Equazen eye q® and improving reading ability. The claim proposed by the applicant was worded as follows: ‘Equazen eye q® (composition of EPA:DHA:GLA at a 9:3:1 ratio) improves reading ability and related cognitive functions in children’.  The Commission and the Member States received the scientific opinion from the Authority, which concluded that a cause and effect relationship had not been established.
  • Following an application from Cross Vetpharm Group UK Ltd, the Authority was required to deliver an opinion on a health claim related to β-galactosidase from Kluyveromyces lactis in Colief® and a reduction of gastrointestinal discomfort. The claim proposed by the applicant was worded as follows: ‘Colief®/lactase enzyme reduces the lactose load of the infant's feed and improves the consequences of lactose maldigestion in colicky infants unable to effectively digest all the lactose in their feed’. The Commission and the Member States received the scientific opinion from the Authority, which concluded that the evidence provided is insufficient to establish a cause and effect relationship.

Amending Regulation (EU) No 432/2012 establishing a list of permitted health claims made on foods

  • The list of permitted health claims and their conditions of use are set out in the Annex to Regulation (EU) No 432/2012. Two claims have been authorised for meal replacement for weight control. The conditions of use of those claims require that in order to bear them, the food should comply with specifications laid down in Commission Directive 96/8/EC. 
  • Following an application from VAB-nutrition, the Authority was required to deliver an opinion on a health claim related to vitamin D and contribution to the normal function of the immune system. The claim proposed by the applicant was worded as follows: ‘Vitamin D contributes to the normal function of the immune system’. On 13 May 2015, the Commission and the Member States received the scientific opinion from the Authority, which concluded that a cause and effect relationship had been established between the dietary intake of vitamin D and contribution to the normal function of the immune system in children. Accordingly, a health claim reflecting this conclusion should be considered as complying with the requirements of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006, and should be included in the Union list of permitted claims.

Amending and correcting Regulation (EU) No 10/2011 on plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with food
Commission Regulation (EU) No 10/2011 (2) (‘the Regulation’) lays down specific rules as regards plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with foods. In particular, it establishes a Union list of substances which may be used in the manufacture of plastic food contact materials and articles.  Since the Regulation's adoption, the European Food Safety Authority has published further reports on particular substances that may be used in food contact materials as well as on the permitted use of substances that have been authorised previously. In addition, certain textual errors and ambiguities were identified. In order to ensure that the Regulation reflects the most recent findings of the EFSA and in order to remove any doubt as regards its correct application, the Regulation should be amended and corrected.

Scientific opinion

Lactobacillus diolivorans DSM 32074 for all animal species

RONOZYME® WX for poultry, piglets and pigs for fattening

Setting MRLs in certain products of animal origin

Pyrrolizidine alkaloids exposure assessment

Opinion on GM maize Bt11 3 59122 3 MIR604 3 1507 3 GA21 and its subcombinations

Chemical group 21 for all animal species

Chemical group 4 for all animal species

Scientific opinion on GM soybean 305423 × 40-3-2

Dietary Reference Values for choline

Modification of existing MRL for acequinocyl in gherkins

Lecithins (Lipidol) for all animal species

Lecithins for all animal species

Safety and efficacy of ListexTM P100 for reduction of pathogens on RTE food products

Revision of maximum authorised content of copper in feed

V0137 and a reduced loss of cognitive function

Sodium propionate (E 281): safety of the extension of use

Setting of an import tolerance for diethofencarb in bananas

Belfeed B MP/ML for poultry species, piglets and pigs for fattening

Lactobacillus diolivorans DSM 32074 for all animal species

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