EU – Upcoming exemptions for traditional generic descriptors (which could imply an effect on health) from nutrition and health claims Regulation

The objective of the draft Commission Regulation EU providing derogations from Article 1(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council on nutrition and health claims made on food for the use of certain generic descriptors – which originally should have been adopted in the third quarter of 2018 – is to provide for a derogation from the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 on nutrition and health claims for certain generic descriptors traditionally used to designate specific class of foods, which could imply an effect on health but which have traditionally not been used to indicate a health effect and which are not understood by consumers in such manner.

In particular, and for generic descriptors listed in the Annex to the Regulation itself, the Regulation would provide for an exemption from the application of Article 1(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 in accordance to which “A trade mark, brand name or fancy name appearing in the labelling, presentation or advertising of a food which may be construed as a nutrition or health claim may be used without undergoing the authorisation procedures provided for in this Regulation, provided that it is accompanied by a related nutrition or health claim in that labelling, presentation or advertising which complies with the provisions of this Regulation.”. These specific generic descriptors would be then exempted from the duty of being accompanied – for their legality – by a related nutrition or health claim compliant with Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006.

In particular and to give an example, as regards specifically Italy and rusk-type bakery products category, the generic descriptor “Biscotto salute” (in EN “Healthy Biscuit”) would be then exempted from the application of the above Article 1(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006. What said follows the application – submitted by Monviso S.P.A. pursuant to Article 1(4) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 for the term “biscotto salute” to be used as generic descriptor in Italy and in Malta – provided on April 23rd 2015 by the Italian competent authority to the Commission.

As regard, instead, non-alcoholic carbonated beverage containing the bittering agent quinine in the form of the flavourings FL 14.011, FL 14.152 or 14.155 as referred to in the Union list of flavourings as laid down in Annex I to Regulation (EC) No 1334/2008, the wording “tonica” (used as part of the descriptive name of the beverage) will be exempted from the application of Article 1(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006. As a matter of fact on April 2nd 2015, the UK competent authority provided the Commission with an application from the British Soft Drinks Association for the term ‘tonic’ (in English) used as part of the descriptive name of a beverage in the form of ‘tonic water’, ‘Indian tonic water’ or ‘quinine tonic water’ and also substituting the word ‘tonic’ (in English) with ‘tonique’ (in French), ‘tónico’ or ‘tonica’ (in Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese), ‘tονωτικό’ or ‘tonotikó’ (in Greek), ‘tonik’ (in Croatian, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Slovak and Slovenian), ‘тоник’ (in Bulgarian), to be used as generic descriptor in all Member States except in Romania.

The same for hard and soft sweets based on sugars as well as sugar-free and calorie-reduced variants based on sweeteners (polyols and/or intense sweeteners) containing extracts of herbs, fruit or other plant substances, honey or malt: on November 18th 2015, the German competent authority provided the Commission with three applications from SOLDAN Holding + Bonbonspezialitäten GmbH, Josef Mack GmbH & Co. KG and the Association of the German Confectionery Industry for the terms ‘Hustenbonbon’, ‘Hoestbonbon’, ‘rebucados para a tosse’, and ‘cough drops’, to be used as generic descriptors in Germany and in Austria (‘Hustenbonbon’), in the Netherlands (‘Hoestbonbon’), in Portugal (‘Rebucados para a tosse‘) and in the United Kingdom (‘Cough drops‘).

After a public consultation and the notification to the TRIS system of the EU Commission and to the WTO, the draft received a favorable opinion by the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed – Section: General food law – on 22nd October 2018.

We are not certain about the date of publication yet, but the Regulation will enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Food Law Latest 2019 webinar program: EU and FDA food labeling, Food Fraud Prevention and more…

These webinars are now available recorded in our archives. You can have them on demand – together with accompanying material – writing at foodlawlatest@gmail.com for more info.

After a successful first round this spring, we are pleased to launch a new wave of regulatory webinars for 2019, namely on EU food labeling, FDA food labeling, comparative analysis of EU vs. FDA food labeling rules and food fraud prevention.

Many more topics will come in the second semester 2019 (e.g. Food Safety Culture, Blockchain, Additives and Flavours, Nutrition and Health Claims) and we are gathering also interests from guest speakers to make our offer as global as usual.

1. CONTENT/MODALITIES

All webinars will be run personally by me.

Duration: 3 h webinar (+Q&A time) to ease the direct interaction. Questions will be made in chat during the webinar, and I will answer during my speech or at the end. If you are not shy you’ll have the opportunity to speak your questions live in the Q&A phase as well.

Presentations will be rich of practical examples from my personal experience and links to the relevant legislation. After the webinar you’ll receive the presentation, together with the recording and a bunch of bonus materials.

The connection will be via UberConference. You can dial in via phone (toll free) or connect with you computer without any install or dial in. After subscription you will receive all the details to access UberConference and test in any moment that you do not have technical issues.

2. DATES

  • 30th January 2019: FDA Food Labeling
  • 6th February 2019: EU Food Labeling
  • 20th February 2019: EU vs. FDA Food Labeling: a comparative analysis
  • 6th March 2019: Food Fraud: global regulatory situation and mitigation strategies

All webinars will be split in 2 twin sessions:

  • the first one from 9.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. Italian time (New Delhi time 1 p.m., Bangkok time, 3.30 p.m. Shanghai time 4.30 p.m.)
  • the second one from 3.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m. Italian time (NY time 9 a.m., Chicago 8 a.m., LA 6 a.m.)

In this way, mostly everyone will have the chance to participate without waking up in the middle of the night.

3. PRICING/SUBSCRIPTION

For subscriptions, please write at foodlawlatest@gmail.com, indicating:

  • your name and surname
  • company name/affiliation
  • webinar(s) chosen
  • invoicing/billing details (including a tax/VAT/registration number for your company)

Pricing: 200 €/subscription for each webinar (around 230 USD, the 2nd person from the same company/organisation will benefit of a 20% discount).

If you subscribe to all webinars we would offer a 25% discount on the overall price.

Payment should be made upfront.

4. PROGRAMS

FDA Food Labeling

  1. Pro and cons to export in US. How to delineate a winning export strategy, avoiding regulatory pitfalls;
  2. How to navigate in the US legislation? Practical examples that explains you how the system works and where to find relevant info;
  3. Competent authorities and applicable labeling regimes (FDA, USDA, TTB);
  4. Brief ‘to do list’ for exporters;
  5. FDA food labeling rules: mandatory information on the pack, presentation rules and everything you need to know to reach the compliance for a basic label;
  6. Statement of identity and Principal Display Panel concept;
  7. Net weight;
  8. Ingredients list (compound ingredients rules, additives, flavourings…);:
  9. Name and address of the manufacturer, packer, importer etc…;
  10. Nutrition Facts in their new format (mandatory from 1st Jan 2020);
  11. Other claims and voluntary information usually used on the pack and upcoming news (GMO labeling, definition of ‘natural’, menu calorie labeling, use by/best before…);
  12. Q&A time.

EU Food Labeling

  1. Regulation EU 1169/2011 scope and field of application;
  2. Labeling rules for B2B marketing of food products;
  3. Labeling rules for e-commerce and distance selling;
  4. Mandatory information presentation rules;
  5. Name of the food;
  6. Net weight;
  7. Ingredients list;
  8. Name and address of the food business responsible for the labeling information;
  9. Who answers of non compliant labels? Legal risks derived from non compliance on the EU market;
  10. QUID (% declaration of characterizing ingredients);
  11. Focus on allergens and “alibi” statements (“May contain …”);
  12. Focus on nutrition labeling (how to derivates the values, how to present the table, mandatory and voluntary formats, exemptions, the alcoholic beverages case);
  13. Focus on origin labeling and the upcoming EU Regulation on the country of origin of the primary ingredient;
  14. Trans fats upcoming limitations in food;
  15. Brief explanation of how the EU law and the national law interacts in the EU (mutual recognition principle and applicability of national law);
  16. Q&A time.

EU vs. FDA Food Labeling: a comparative analysis

This course basically will examine all the mandatory information that should be placed on a pack in both systems and compare them, spotting all the differences in terms of rules of presentation and application details.

The program is an hybrid of the EU and the FDA food labeling courses mentioned above. It’s open to everybody, but a basic knowledge of at least one of the two labeling systems is strongly suggested to fully appreciate the course.

FOOD FRAUD: global regulatory situation and mitigation strategies

  1. Food fraud in EU: relevant regulatory framework, case studies and EU Commission initiatives on the topic;
  2. Key element of the new EU Regulation 625/2017 on official control on the market;
  3. Overview of private initiatives aiming at food fraud prevention and mitigation in EU;
  4. Food fraud in US: relevant regulatory framework and FDA stand on the topic;
  5. FSMA, FSVP and increased transparency on the supply chain;
  6. Food fraud in China: relevant regulatory framework and case studies;
  7. How to build an effective food fraud mitigation strategies in your organisations: key suggestions from real life cases.
  8. Horizon scanning: best tools and source of information available.

5. SPEAKER

Cesare Varallo is food lawyer in Italy and global advisor on food safety, food labeling and food regulatory issues. In July 2013 he founded foodlawlatest.com and started his independent consultancy activity. Through partnerships with technical experts and other international advisors he can offer a multidisciplinary and multi-jurisdiction approach, to timely answer the needs of clients in a globalised environment and on 60 countries in the world.
He proudly works at the intersection between science, law, business and social studies, building bridges between different cultures, stakeholders and backgrounds.

He is a well recognized international speaker and author. He teaches food law related matters in several Universities, in particular LUISS in Rome, Alma Mater in Bologna and MSU in US.

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