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Food claims

EP rejects misleading food claims under EU rules

The European Parliament today voted to reject (1) a proposal from the EU Commission to allow misleading nutritional claims for food products. The Greens welcomed the rejection of the proposals, which would have allowed producers to claim reduced percentages of potentially unhealthy components (like fat, salt, sugar and saturated fat) compared to a previous version of the same product. The Commission will now have to come forward with a new proposal. Speaking after the vote, Swedish Green MEP Carl Schlyter said:

"The EP has today voted against misleading food claims and sent the Commission back to the drawing board.

"EU legislation on health and nutrition claims is designed to provide consumers with necessary information in a format that is easy for them to understand. Nutritional claims on foods should only be permitted if they allow consumers to make a clear choice for healthy foods. The Commission's proposal would instead have created greater uncertainty. Allowing claims about reduced percentages of unhealthy components (compared to previous versions) could have confused consumers, leading them to believe that a product is healthy even though it continues to contain considerable amounts of potentially unhealthy components (like salt, sugar or fats). This runs completely counter to the purpose and spirit of the legislation.

"The Commission should now come forward with a new proposal excluding the rejected nutrition claim."

(1) The EP voted to reject the proposed claim under the comitology procedure. The Commission will now have to come forward with new proposals.

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