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REGULATION & FOOD: EU Parliament clears rules to label flavourings and enzymes produced by GMOs







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TITLE:  EU PARLIAMENT CLEARS FOOD ADDITIVE RULES WITH AMENDMENTS

SOURCE: Forbes, USA

AUTHOR: AFX News, UK

URL:    http://www.forbes.com/business/feeds/afx/2007/07/10/afx3899259.html

DATE:   10.07.2007

------------------ archive:  http://www.genet-info.org/ ------------------


EU PARLIAMENT CLEARS FOOD ADDITIVE RULES WITH AMENDMENTS

STRASBOURG (Thomson Financial) - The European Parliament said it has approved new regulations, with amendments, aimed at simplifying and updating the dozen or so current EU laws on food additives.

The legislation now goes to the Council of Ministers, which is expected to carry out its first reading in the autumn.

Under an EU-level common authorisation procedure, lists of authorised products will be compiled for each category -- additives, enzymes and flavourings -- with conditions of use and rules on labeling. The lists will be assessed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Authorisation decisions and the reasons behind them must be made public. Marketing applications must be notified to member states, the European Parliament and stakeholders. Applicants should be granted scientific data protection for five years if they have to reveal trade secrets when they apply.

Additives must not endanger the health of consumers and must be ’technologically necessary’. They would be banned in unprocessed food, as would sweeteners and colourings in children’s food.

The environmental impact of additives must examined and they must not mislead consumers as to the freshness or naturalness of a product. Derivation from genetically modified organisms or azo-dyes must be labelled. Additives already approved will gradually be re-evaluated under the new procedure.

Food enzymes should be allowed only if they do not mislead as to the freshness or naturalness of a product.

Flavourings should be used only if there is a ’reasonable technological need’. A flavouring should be deemed ’natural’ only if 95 pct of it is of natural origin, compared with the 90 pct limited proposed by the commission. MEPs said the effect of flavourings on vulnerable groups should be investigated.

Parliament said flavourings and enzymes should be used only if there is a benefit to the consumer and, if they are made from GMOs, the label must say so.


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