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!


New RASFF consumers’ portal and Annual Report 2013

The RASFF celebrates his 35 years launching a new service and publishing the 2013 Annual Report. Launched in June 2014, the RASFF consumers’ portal is a consumer-friendly internet tool providing latest information on food recall notices. It includes also public health warnings issued by food safety authorities and food companies. By using this free tool, EU consumers are able to identify food that has been flagged in the system allowing them to make more informed choices. By selecting any EU country, the user can view the list of recent notices provided by member countries or business operators on consumer recalls. The information can be consulted in the “Published” section of the portal. After a four week period, notifications will be removed from portal. Portal features will be further developed and improved based on users’ feedback.

What about the report? Here some key features:

  • In 2013, a total of 3.205original notifications were transmitted, of which 596 alert, 442 information for follow up, 705 information for attention and 1.462 border rejections;
  • Overall decreasing of the notifications: 4,9 %. It is the first year that we face a decreasing in the last decade;
  • Italy is the top notifying country (534). About the country of origin most issues come from China (433), India (257), Turkey (226), Brazil and Spain (187) and Poland (163).The Commission rejected 231 notifications because RASFF notifications’ criteria were not met. It is an increasing of 245% compared to 2012;
  • More info about the “horsemeat scandal” and why the Commission used the RASFF although there were doubts about the serious risk for human health;
  • Between the case study you can read more about the hepatitis A virus in frozen berry mixes from Italy, with raw material from Bulgaria, Canada, Poland and Serbia;
  • Aflatoxins notifications are consistently decreasing, food supplements from third countries are certain an emerging problem.