“EDA remains strongly in favour of a simplification and harmonization of European labelling rules,” said Joop Kleibeuker, secretary general of the EDA. “We are therefore pleased with this approval of the European Parliament.”
Kleibeuker had been critical of the legislative proposals as they stood in May having come from the ENVI committee of the EU Parliament.
Points of contention
Of particular concern were the requirements for an extension of mandatory country of origin labelling to milk and dairy products and compulsory labelling of trans fatty acids (TFA).
Now the Parliament has softened its approach on both these points.
On the subject of mandatory origin labelling, the Parliament has agreed to an assessment review of the impact of the proposal on consumers and industry before making any decision. The EDA said it looks forward to contributing to the review.
And with regards to TFA labelling, the Parliament has also agreed to a review of the importance of TFA is in the European diet before moving ahead with mandatory labelling.
The EDA had been critical of the proposal to make TFA labelling compulsory, arguing that the intake in Europe is not sufficient to make it a public health concern.
“EDA is confident that this report will confirm that the average intake of naturally occurring TFA is not a public health concern in Europe,” said the trade body.
Other points welcomed by the EDA in the legislative package include the inclusion of protein in the mandatory nutrition declaration and the decision not to fix an exact location for this declaration.
Parliament approved the labelling rules by 606 votes to 46, with 26 abstentions.
Once the legislation is published in the EU Official Journal - expected in October - food and dairy companies have three years to adapt to most of the rules.