With summer upon us, EU fonctionnaires are embarking on their yearly procession out of Brussels and into their home Member States – though those from COVID-19 ‘red list’ countries will need to make do with the not-so-exotic Belgian coast.
Indeed, the European Parliament has gone into summer recess until 22nd August, while the European Commission and the Council of the EU will remain open, albeit with reduced capacity.
Political institutions may be slowing down but this editorial team continues to grind through the summer – covering major developments taking place in both the UK and the EU. This month, EU citizens have come together to demand more information on the environmental impact of food products, while in the UK Henry Dimbleby made a comeback with part 2 of the country’s National Food Strategy.
In sunny Parma, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has issued opinions confirming the links between the use of dietary sugars and health problems, along with an opinion that seeks to expand the permitted applications of Vitamin D in food products. We also touch upon MEPs’ efforts to tackle obesity, as well as the food and nutrition measures laid out in the UK’s new Health and Care Bill. In our Brexit section, ‘Euro Channel’ we take a look at the saucy “sausage war” between the UK and the EU.
You can read this month’s most relevant developments in the food and nutrition space below:
European citizens call for a new Eco-Score food label– A new European Citizen’s Initiative for a European Eco-Score was launched, to ensure consumers understand the environmental impact of the products they buy. If organisers gain the required 1 million signatures, the Commission will decide whether to put forward a proposal.
National Food Strategy – the sequel – The independent review on England’s National Food Strategy is out. Henry Dimbleby, co-founder of the Leon restaurant chain tasked to draft the Strategy, recommended, inter alia, a sugar and salt reformulation tax, mandatory reporting for large companies and helping those on low income improve their diets. We expect a government White paper based on these recommendations in the next six months.
Sugar is bad and more Vitamin D is needed, says EFSA – The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published an opinion on dietary sugars, linking the consumption of this ingredient to an increase in health issues. The Authority has also allowed an extension of permitted uses for Vitamin D yest in a wider range of food products. Previously, this ingredient was only permitted in food supplements and baked products.
MEPs call on colleagues to take action on obesity– The three lead MEPs of the recently launched European Parliament Interest Group on Obesity and Health System Resilience, have co-signed a joint statement setting out the urgency of tackling obesity at the European and national levels.
Incoming! Health and Care Bill – The UK’s long-awaited Health and Care Bill was formally introduced to Parliament on 6th July, supporting the introduction of new requirements about calorie labelling on food and drink packaging and the TV and online advertising of HFSS foods. To be picked up after summer recess.
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If your business needs any support or advice in navigating these policy challenges, or if you have any questions about how these may impact your industry, please do get in touch by contacting Viviana Spaghetti, Director of European Affairs at Viviana.Spaghetti@whitehousecomms.com