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Brussels, 6 July 2011

Statement by Commissioner John Dalli : The adoption of Food Information regulation is good news for consumers

The European Parliament has just adopted a Regulation on Food Information for consumers.

Health and Consumer Policy Commissioner John Dalli, made the following statement:

"I welcome today's important decision. It completes an effort which started more than three years ago to help consumers make more informed decisions when they buy food. The Parliament's vote constitutes a significant step in our efforts to further boost consumer empowerment and, contribute to the fight against the rising levels of obesity and chronic diseases in the EU."

This agreement is good news for consumers.

It will empower them by introducing inter alia :

  • minimum font size for mandatory information to improve legibility for consumers

  • mandatory nutrition information to help consumers identify foods that meet their personal preferences or dietary requirements.

  • Mandatory information on allergens on pre-packed foods, non-pre-packed foods and foods sold in restaurants to enable consumers to better protect their health

  • compulsory country-of-origin labelling for meat from pig, sheep, goat and poultry. The framing of voluntary origin indications will help prevent the risk of misleading consumers and will ensure a level playing field for food businesses.

I would also like to publicly express my gratitude and appreciation to all actors that made today's outcome possible – the European Parliament, the Hungarian Presidency and previous Presidencies of the EU, the Council and the Commission's services. I am particularly grateful to Dr. Renate Sommer, the European Parliament's rapporteur on the issue, for her hard work and commitment in finding a balanced compromise with the Council.

Of course, the outcome of today's decision was the result of compromise. I, therefore, regret to note that in some key areas the regulation does not go as far as we would have liked it to. For instance, the initial proposal of the commission for nutrition labelling on the front of packages has not been endorsed. The framework for the voluntary inclusion of nutrition information on the front of pack is, nevertheless, a step in the right direction.

I also regret to see that alcoholic beverages have been at this stage exempted from the ingredient and nutrition labelling requirements. I will however strive to ensure that we strike the right balance when we re-examine the issue in the near future".


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