10 most read articles in 2014

Dear readers,

This year Foodlawlatest.com doubled his visitors, and we have now more than 10.000 visits each month from more than 160 countries. It’s an amazing result and I have to thank you all my readers for this.

Here’s a recap of the 10 most read articles in 2014:

1. EU maintains ban on betel leaves from Bangladesh: a fabulous guest article written by my dearest friend Francesco Montanari, Food Law consultant in Lisbon, on import/export issues in EU, in particular regarding the ban of betel leaves import from Bangladesh.

2. EU – Breaking news on allergens labelling: in the first days of December DG Sanco opened a public consultation on Guidelines relating to the provision of information on substances or products causing allergies or intolerances as listed in Annex II of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers.

3. Hepatitis A in frozen berries: the “silent outbreak” – My article on Meyerlegal newlsetter: on 8th September 2014, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published the final results of its study on the epidemic of hepatitis A (HAV) that, last year, hit Italy and, to a lesser extent, several other European countries and that is thought to have been caused by some mix of frozen berries of Eastern-European origin. The article tries to highlight the reasons why this very outbreak should be considered an important stress test for the European food safety system as a whole nad why this event was so underestimated.

4. FSA UK – Organic Tofu recall due to a potential risk of botulism: a serious public health matter in April 2014.

5. EU Food Law Handbooka review of one of the most interesting and comprehensive book of the year on this topic. The book is edited by Prof. Bernd Van der Muelen and see the participation of really good friends and gifted professionals like Martin Holle (Nutrition policy in the European Union), Cecilia Kuhn and Francesco Montanari (Importing food into the EU), Rozita Spirovska Vaskoska and many others.

6. Study Demonstrates Superior Bioavailability of Curcumin Micelle: an interesting study for who is interested in the nutraceutical sector.

7. DG-SANCO published translated Q&A on Reg. UE 1169/2011: in May DG Sanco published the first and for now unique document of Q&A on the FIC Regulation in all the official languages of the Union.

8. Allergens Labelling (FIC Regulation n. 1169/2011) on Foodservice Consultant: a July article, published on this HORECA review about the upcoming allergens labelling in EU.

9. USA – FDA Egg Safety Rule: in November the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced a regulation expected to prevent each year approximately 79,000 cases of foodborne illness and 30 deaths caused by consumption of eggs contaminated with the bacterium Salmonella Enteritidis.

10. Written Q&A to EU Commission – Joint answer on trans fatty acids: in this answer to four written questions by MEPs (click the highlighted numbers to open them), Mr. Borg analyses the state of the art in EU about trans fatty acids. In US the issue is at the top of the FDA agenda. FDA this year has made a preliminary determination that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), the major dietary source of trans fat in the processed food supply, are no longer Generally Recognized as Safe, or GRAS.

Thank you all our readers. Keep reading and sharing and happy new year!


Written Q&A to EU Commission – Mangoes import ban from India

Question for written answer
to the Commission
Glenis Willmott (S&D)

Subject: Mango ban

In March 2014 the European Union banned imports of mangoes (and some other produce) from India. The ban came into force at the beginning of May, coinciding with the high season for the mangoes. The ban was proposed because the fruit was repeatedly found to be infested with pests, despite previous warnings that plant health measures had to be improved.

My region of the East Midlands of England is particularly affected by the ban, due to our strong links with India. Of course restricting invasive pests is vital, as they can cause a huge number of problems. However we must also consider the important economic consequences of imposing a lengthy ban.

The ban will be reviewed before December 2015. What measures are being taken to ensure that India improves phytosanitary measures as soon as possible? Does the Commission take the view that a decision could be taken any sooner, so that the ban could be lifted in time for next year’s high season?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission (7th August 2014)

The Honorable Member will be aware that India accounts for the highest number, by far, of interceptions of harmful organisms from any country exporting plants and plant products to the European Union, despite the relatively low volume of trade.

This situation has continued despite communication and technical exchanges with the competent authorities of India. Failure to act led to the necessary adoption of temporary emergency measures prohibiting the import of the most high-risk commodities from India to protect the Union’s plant health status.

India has recently strengthened export checks on plants and plant products that could guarantee compliance with EU import requirements for plant health. While these steps seem to be going in the right direction, the EU measures will only be reviewed once compliance of Indian exports with international and EU requirements are in evidence. At this stage, it is to the competent authorities of India to act and propose the EU satisfactory guarantees that would allow reconsidering trade of safe commodities to resume.

(Source: EU Parliament)