QeA EU Parliament – EU Commission to EU Parliament on Meat Sounding

Question for written answer to the Commission 23rd May 2018

Subject:  Fraudulent use of the term ‘meat’

Such terms as meat, hamburger, beefsteak or sausage are being used unlawfully. All of them are clearly defined and cannot lawfully be used to refer to products that have nothing to do with meat. The dictionary definition of ‘meat’ is ‘musculature of human beings and animals’. Despite this, we observe that these words are increasingly being used in cases where there is little or no meat in the food product concerned. People selling it as meat are misleading consumers and evidently wish to imply a connection with meat for marketing reasons.

Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers leaves no room for doubt as to what comprises correction food information. The regulation stipulates that legislation on food information must prohibit the provision of information that is misleading for consumers, particularly as regards the nature, effects or properties of foods. To be effective, that prohibition should also apply to the advertising and presentation of foods.

A recent judgment of the Court of Justice of the EU prohibits the unlawful use, for example, of ‘vegan cheese’ or ‘soya milk’.

1. What initiatives is the Commission planning in order to combat fraudulent use of the term ‘meat’?

2. Has the Commission received any other complaints about this?

Answer given by Mr Andriukaitis on behalf of the European Commission – 19th July 2018

1. Where no specific legislation provides for particular designations for meat-based foods, the provisions of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011, which set the general labelling rules, apply.

The regulation contains a series of provisions empowering Member States to act when considering certain terms being misleading or misinforming for consumers.

In this respect, Article 7(1)(a) of the regulation requests that food information shall not be misleading as to the characteristics of the food and, in particular, as to its nature and composition.

Moreover, point 17, Part A of Annex VII to the regulation provides a definition of meat for labelling purpose: ‘skeletal muscles of mammalian and bird species recognised as fit for human consumption with naturally included or adherent tissue (…)’. On this basis, the term ‘meat’ can only be used on food labels when it complies with this definition.

Member States have the primary responsibility for the enforcement and the correct implementation of the legislation. The Commission considers that the abovementioned provisions give the Member States useful elements and criteria to combat the use of misleading terms on foods.

To complement this framework, Article 36(3)(b) of the regulation foresees that the Commission shall adopt an implementing act on the voluntary provision of information related to the suitability of foods for vegetarians or vegans. The Commission cannot, however, commit at this stage to a specific date or to the content of this measure.

2. The Commission has not received other complaints on this matter.

(Source: EU Parliament)

Food Law in Asia and Food Law in US Conference (Rome 16-17th April 2018)

Also in 2018 I am honored to chair and organize with Lexxion, the II edition of the amazing Food Law in Asia Conference + the Food Law in US, after the 1st successful edition in Amsterdam (2017). It will take place in the full of spring in the beautiful Rome, at Hotel Victoria

For all Foodlawlatest.com reader, there is a 10% discount ready to go (see coupon at the end of the article).

CONFERENCE PRESENTATION

With a growth in free trade agreements and the decline of traditional trade barriers, the Asian countries have emerged into one of the most promising regions for food and beverage companies to find new markets for export, however, the complex regulatory frameworks in many Asian jurisdictions often impose big obstacles.

High-profile lecturers from industry, food associations and private legal practice will provide you with a general overview of Food Law in Asia, update you on the legal frameworks in China, India and South Korea and share with you their knowledge and useful tips.

The conference on Food Law in Asia will be followed by a new event on Food Law in the US, shedding light on topics such as export of food and alcoholic beverages to the US, labelling, food recalls, health claims and reforms implemented through the Food Safety Modernisation Act (FSMA).

Both conferences are aimed at food industry representatives interested in export as well as professionals dealing with US and Asian food law on a regular basis. You can benefit from a discount for double-registration and use the opportunity to meet and discuss with food law experts from Europe, Asia and the US.

The conferences will include also practical workshops about how to draft a label for specific countries (e.g. China, India) and high level networking will be eased by the conference format and the wonderful time that you will spend in Rome.

Between the SPEAKERS we will have:

ASIA

  • Nicola Aporti, Head of Corporate and Food Regulatory, HFG Law & Intellectual Property, Shanghai
  • YiFan Jiang, Head of Science and Regulatory Affairs, Food Industry Asia (FIA), Singapore
  • Harsh Gursahani, Associate at PLR Chambers, Consultant for International Trade Laws, New Delhi
  • Bongchul Kim, Associate Professor Hankuk, University of Foreign Studies, Seoul, South Korea
  • Manuela Beatrisotti, EMEA Technical Regulatory Manager, Barilla, Italy

US

  • Katia Merten-Lentz, Partner at Keller & Heckman, Brussels
  • Jonathan Coleman, Food Law Advisor, Campden BRI Group, Nutfield
  • Maile Gradison Hermida, and Elizabeth B. Fawell, Partners at Hogan Lovells, Washington

From the following links, you can see the updated programs (Asia, US), download the unique brochure and register (Asia, US) .

You can redeem a 10% discount as Foodlawlatest reader, using the following code: EFFLSPEAKERCV