Written QeA to EU Commission – COOL for dairy products

In the following answer, the EU Commission clearly closes the door to an immediate adoption of a rule about the mandatory country of origin labelling for milk, milk used as ingredients in dairy products and other types of meat, in the light of the study published on 20th May 2015 and commented in this former article.

Question for written answer to the Commission – Miguel Viegas (GUE/NGL) –  15th June 2015

Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the provision of food information to consumers (‘INCO Regulation’) introduced a set of provisions relating to indications of origin on the labelling of foodstuffs.

Article 26(5) and (6) of this regulation urges the Commission to submit a series of reports to the European Parliament and the Council concerning the possibility of extending mandatory declaration of origin on the label to other foodstuffs.

In this respect, the Commission published a report on 20 May 2015 on the mandatory indication of the country of origin or place of provenance for milk, milk used as an ingredient in dairy products and other types of meat apart from swine, sheep, goat and poultry meat.

Based on various scenarios (1 — 6), the report stresses the high costs arising from overly restrictive regulations on this subject and is inconclusive as regards consumers’ readiness to bear the costs of such a measure.

What is the Commission’s assessment of the report and what consequences will it have in terms of the INCO Regulation?

Answer given by Mr Hogan on behalf of the Commission – 28th August 2015

The report on mandatory origin labelling of milk, milk used as an ingredient in dairy products and other types of meat concludes that voluntary labelling is the most suitable option: it addresses consumers’ interest in relation to origin information without imposing additional burdens on food business operators and the authorities. Providing for the mandatory origin labelling would negatively impact food business operators, in particular those located in border areas and those dealing with highly processed products, and would put additional burden on national administrations.

Based on those conclusions, the Commission does not intend to propose any legislative action at this stage.

(Source: European Parliament website)

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