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Nutrition labelling schemes used in Member States

27-07-2020

The controversial issue of ‘front-of-pack nutrition labelling’ (FOP labelling) has been high on the agenda of those following European food labelling issues for many years. With half of adults in the European Union being overweight and with many health problems related to unhealthy diets, making the healthy choice the easy choice for consumers has been advocated as one of the means that could help to solve problems. Front-of-pack nutrition labelling is simplified nutrition information provided on ...

The controversial issue of ‘front-of-pack nutrition labelling’ (FOP labelling) has been high on the agenda of those following European food labelling issues for many years. With half of adults in the European Union being overweight and with many health problems related to unhealthy diets, making the healthy choice the easy choice for consumers has been advocated as one of the means that could help to solve problems. Front-of-pack nutrition labelling is simplified nutrition information provided on the front of food packaging, aiming to help consumers with their food choices. Under the current EU rules, the indication of nutrition information on the front of packaging is not mandatory but could be provided on a voluntary basis. Some Member States have already introduced voluntary schemes to help consumers to identify healthier products. The Commission announces in its new ‘Farm to Fork’ strategy, launched in May 2020, that it will propose a mandatory harmonised front-of‑pack nutrition labelling system by the end of 2022. Consumer and health associations broadly consider that FOP nutrition labelling plays a key role in helping consumers make more informed, healthier food choices. There is, however, also criticism of such schemes, arguing that they are over-simplified and can mislead consumers. In its resolution on the European Green Deal, adopted in January 2020, the European Parliament welcomes the plan for a sustainable food system strategy, as well as the Commission’s intention to explore new ways to give consumers better information, and calls on the Commission to consider improved food labelling.

New plant-breeding techniques: Applicability of EU GMO rules

10-10-2019

New plant genetic modification techniques, referred to as 'gene editing' or 'genome editing', have evolved rapidly in recent years, allowing much faster and more precise results than conventional plant-breeding techniques. They are seen as a promising innovative field for the agri-food industry, offering great technical potential. There is, however, considerable debate as to how these new techniques should be regulated, and whether some or all of them should fall within the scope of EU legislation ...

New plant genetic modification techniques, referred to as 'gene editing' or 'genome editing', have evolved rapidly in recent years, allowing much faster and more precise results than conventional plant-breeding techniques. They are seen as a promising innovative field for the agri-food industry, offering great technical potential. There is, however, considerable debate as to how these new techniques should be regulated, and whether some or all of them should fall within the scope of EU legislation on genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Those who take the view that the new techniques should be exempt from GMO legislation generally argue that the end product is very similar to products generated using conventional breeding techniques, or that similar changes could also occur naturally. Those who consider that the new techniques should fall within the scope of GMO legislation contend that the processes used mean that plants bred using the new techniques are in fact genetically modified. In July 2018, the European Court of Justice gave a judgment ruling that genome-edited organisms fall under the scope of European GMO legislation. While welcomed by some, the judgment has also sparked criticism and calls for the new European Commission to amend EU GMO legislation. This is an updated edition of a 2016 Briefing.

Reconsidering the General Food Law

30-09-2019

On 11 April 2018, the European Commission published a proposal to review the General Food Law Regulation and amend eight legislative acts dealing with specific food chain sectors. The proposal follows up on the European Citizens' Initiative on glyphosate; and especially on concerns regarding the transparency of the scientific studies used in the evaluation of pesticides. The proposal also responds to a fitness check of the General Food Law, completed in January 2018. The proposal's objective is to ...

On 11 April 2018, the European Commission published a proposal to review the General Food Law Regulation and amend eight legislative acts dealing with specific food chain sectors. The proposal follows up on the European Citizens' Initiative on glyphosate; and especially on concerns regarding the transparency of the scientific studies used in the evaluation of pesticides. The proposal also responds to a fitness check of the General Food Law, completed in January 2018. The proposal's objective is to increase the transparency and sustainability of the EU scientific assessment model, and other aspects such as governance of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). In the European Parliament, the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) adopted its report on 27 November 2018. A vote in plenary to finalise Parliament's position took place on 11 December and the Council adopted its position on 12 December 2018. A provisional agreement was reached in trilogue on 11 February 2019 and endorsed in the ENVI committee on 20 February. The European Parliament adopted the text at first reading on 17 April; the Council adopted it on 13 June. The final act, signed on 20 June, was published in the Official Journal on 6 September 2019 and is applicable, for the most part, from 27 March 2021.

Hearings of the Commissioners-designate: Stella Kyriakides - Health

26-09-2019

This briefing is one in a set looking at the Commissioners-designate and their portfolios as put forward by Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. Each candidate faces a three-hour public hearing, organised by one or more parliamentary committees. After that process, those committees will judge the candidates' suitability for the role based on 'their general competence, European commitment and personal independence', as well as their 'knowledge of their prospective portfolio and their communication ...

This briefing is one in a set looking at the Commissioners-designate and their portfolios as put forward by Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. Each candidate faces a three-hour public hearing, organised by one or more parliamentary committees. After that process, those committees will judge the candidates' suitability for the role based on 'their general competence, European commitment and personal independence', as well as their 'knowledge of their prospective portfolio and their communication skills'. At the end of the hearings process, Parliament votes on the proposed Commission as a bloc, and under the Treaties may only reject the entire College of Commissioners, rather than individual candidates. The Briefing provides an overview of key issues in the portfolio areas, as well as Parliament's activity in the last term in that field. It also includes a brief introduction to the candidate.

Spirit drinks: Definition, labelling and geographical indications

28-05-2019

In December 2016, the European Commission proposed to replace Regulation (EC) No 110/2008 – the Spirit Drinks Regulation – with a new one, with the aim of aligning it with the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). The proposal mainly involves grouping the provisions adopted by the Commission into delegated and implementing acts. In addition, it replaces the existing procedures for the protection of geographical indications (GIs) of spirit drinks with new ones, modelled on the recently ...

In December 2016, the European Commission proposed to replace Regulation (EC) No 110/2008 – the Spirit Drinks Regulation – with a new one, with the aim of aligning it with the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). The proposal mainly involves grouping the provisions adopted by the Commission into delegated and implementing acts. In addition, it replaces the existing procedures for the protection of geographical indications (GIs) of spirit drinks with new ones, modelled on the recently updated procedures for quality schemes applied to agricultural products and foodstuffs. According to spirits industry representatives, the proposal contained some substantive changes that needed to be studied in detail to determine their impact. The Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) was responsible for the file in the European Parliament. A provisional agreement was reached at the third trilogue meeting, on 27 November 2018. The agreement was confirmed by the Special Committee on Agriculture in December 2018 and approved in the ENVI committee on 22 January 2019. A plenary vote in the EP was held on 13 March 2019. The act was signed on 17 April and the regulation published in the Official Journal on 17 May 2019. Third edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

Revision of the Drinking Water Directive

15-04-2019

On 1 February 2018, the European Commission published a proposal for a recast of the Directive on the quality of water intended for human consumption (the Drinking Water Directive). The proposal responds to the European Citizens' Initiative, Right2Water, and builds on a fitness check which concluded that the 20-year old directive is fit for purpose, but needs updating. The main elements of the proposal consist of updating the water quality standards, introducing a risk-based approach to the monitoring ...

On 1 February 2018, the European Commission published a proposal for a recast of the Directive on the quality of water intended for human consumption (the Drinking Water Directive). The proposal responds to the European Citizens' Initiative, Right2Water, and builds on a fitness check which concluded that the 20-year old directive is fit for purpose, but needs updating. The main elements of the proposal consist of updating the water quality standards, introducing a risk-based approach to the monitoring of water, improving and streamlining the information provided to consumers, harmonising the standards for products in contact with drinking water, and imposing obligations to improve access to water. In the European Parliament, the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) adopted its report on 10 September 2018. A plenary vote on the amendments, and on opening interinstitutional negotiations, took place on 23 October 2018. Although the Council reached a general approach on 5 March 2019, the Parliament concluded its first reading in plenary on 28 March 2019. Trilogue negotiations in view of reaching an early-second reading agreement could thus begin in the new parliamentary term.

Trasparenza dell'analisi del rischio nella filiera alimentare

10-04-2019

In seguito alle controversie riguardanti l'autorizzazione e il rinnovo di alcuni prodotti sensibili, quali gli organismi geneticamente modificati (OGM) e le sostanze attive nei prodotti fitosanitari (glifosato, neonicotinoidi), la Commissione europea ha proposto di rivedere e armonizzare le regole di trasparenza in questi settori politici. Nella tornata di dicembre 2018 si è svolta una votazione per finalizzare la posizione del Parlamento. Un accordo provvisorio raggiunto l'11 febbraio 2019 in sede ...

In seguito alle controversie riguardanti l'autorizzazione e il rinnovo di alcuni prodotti sensibili, quali gli organismi geneticamente modificati (OGM) e le sostanze attive nei prodotti fitosanitari (glifosato, neonicotinoidi), la Commissione europea ha proposto di rivedere e armonizzare le regole di trasparenza in questi settori politici. Nella tornata di dicembre 2018 si è svolta una votazione per finalizzare la posizione del Parlamento. Un accordo provvisorio raggiunto l'11 febbraio 2019 in sede di trilogo è ora in attesa dell'approvazione definitiva del Parlamento in prima lettura durante la tornata di aprile II.

Trasparenza del processo di valutazione dei rischi dell'UE nella catena alimentare

05-12-2018

In seguito alle controversie riguardanti l'autorizzazione e il rinnovo di alcuni prodotti sensibili, quali le sostanze attive nei prodotti fitosanitari (glifosato, neonicotinoidi) e gli organismi geneticamente modificati (OGM), la Commissione europea ha proposto di rivedere le regole di trasparenza in questi settori politici. Durante la sessione plenaria di dicembre, il Parlamento europeo dovrebbe votare sulla relazione della commissione per l'ambiente, la sanità pubblica e la sicurezza alimentare ...

In seguito alle controversie riguardanti l'autorizzazione e il rinnovo di alcuni prodotti sensibili, quali le sostanze attive nei prodotti fitosanitari (glifosato, neonicotinoidi) e gli organismi geneticamente modificati (OGM), la Commissione europea ha proposto di rivedere le regole di trasparenza in questi settori politici. Durante la sessione plenaria di dicembre, il Parlamento europeo dovrebbe votare sulla relazione della commissione per l'ambiente, la sanità pubblica e la sicurezza alimentare (ENVI) e su un mandato per avviare negoziati interistituzionali.

Revisione della direttiva sull'acqua potabile

17-10-2018

Nel febbraio 2018 la Commissione europea ha adottato una proposta di rifusione della direttiva sull'acqua potabile, che aggiorna gli standard di qualità dell'acqua e intende migliorare l'accesso all'acqua potabile per tutti. Durante la tornata di ottobre II, il Parlamento voterà in merito alla relazione della commissione per l'ambiente, la sanità pubblica e la sicurezza alimentare (ENVI) e all'avvio di negoziati interistituzionali di trilogo.

Nel febbraio 2018 la Commissione europea ha adottato una proposta di rifusione della direttiva sull'acqua potabile, che aggiorna gli standard di qualità dell'acqua e intende migliorare l'accesso all'acqua potabile per tutti. Durante la tornata di ottobre II, il Parlamento voterà in merito alla relazione della commissione per l'ambiente, la sanità pubblica e la sicurezza alimentare (ENVI) e all'avvio di negoziati interistituzionali di trilogo.

Pacchetto "medicinali veterinari"

17-10-2018

Nel settembre 2014 la Commissione europea ha presentato un pacchetto composto da tre proposte per aggiornare il quadro legislativo in materia di medicinali veterinari. Tali proposte rendono più rigide le norme allo scopo di affrontare la resistenza antimicrobica e accrescere la disponibilità di medicinali veterinari nell'Unione europea. La votazione del Parlamento europeo è prevista durante la plenaria di ottobre II sul testo concordato nei negoziati di trilogo.

Nel settembre 2014 la Commissione europea ha presentato un pacchetto composto da tre proposte per aggiornare il quadro legislativo in materia di medicinali veterinari. Tali proposte rendono più rigide le norme allo scopo di affrontare la resistenza antimicrobica e accrescere la disponibilità di medicinali veterinari nell'Unione europea. La votazione del Parlamento europeo è prevista durante la plenaria di ottobre II sul testo concordato nei negoziati di trilogo.

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