With the holidays around the corner, policymakers in London and Brussels are in their final push to advance files before leaving the office. Your favourite newsletter team is no different – this will be your last edition of the year, as the Whitehouse team prepares to temporarily halt the reporting on food and nutrition to eat food and probably ruin our own nutrition over the holiday period.
While discussions in the EU over the establishment of a common Front-of-Pack Nutrition Labeling Scheme (FOPNL) continue to progress, the idea of introducing similar environmental footprint labels is making its way into the political limelight. This month, Robin May, the Chief Scientific Advisor for England’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) said that the need for progress on environmental food labelling was ‘urgent’. His comments come in as a World Health Organization (WHO) study arguing for more nutritional and environmental information to be displayed on the packaging of food products in Europe.
In Brussels, the European Commission has received the first of a series of opinions from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) concerning the setting of harmonised mandatory front-of-pack nutrition labelling (FOPNL) and nutrient profiles in the EU, opinions which will support the Commission on the details of the draft legislation. The Commission’s decision to fund a research project into lab-grown meat has however had not such a warm welcome and rather enraged Italian MEPs, who have called on the institution to stop supporting synthetic meat.
Your newsletter team has also taken the opportunity to delve deeper into the European Commission’s plans to increasingly seek to involve food businesses in the transition to more sustainable food systems. The new “Sustainable EU Food System Initiative” now manifests this ambition. We take a look at the obligations the new initiative sets out, and what this means for food businesses in detail below!
You can read this month’s most relevant developments in the food and nutrition space below:
Time for ‘urgent progress’ in Eco-labelling: Robin May, the Chief Scientific Advisor of the FSA, has called for urgent progress to be achieved on a common ecolabelling scheme across the UK that would transparently communicate a product’s carbon footprint.
WHO joins the ring on environmental labelling: The World Health Organization (WHO) shares Mr May’s views. In a recently published study, the international organisation argues for the creation of a labelling scheme for foods that would highlight both their environmental and nutritional impact.
DSHC guidance on nutrition and health claims – Article 28: The UK Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has issued a new guidance document to help companies comply with the provision set out in the EU’s Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation (NHCR) relating to brand names.
Obesity must be fought at the EU level, says EFSA: In a recently opened public consultation, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is seeking feedback on a scientific opinion on the setting of FOPNL and nutrient profiles in the EU. With regulatory action on this topic expected by Q4 2022, EFSA’s draft scientific opinion supports that EU legislation is the most efficient tool to fight obesity in the continent.
Agriculture Commissioner says comprehensive F2F impact assessment is off the table: While he had previously hinted at a comprehensive impact assessment of the entire Farm to Fork (F2F) Strategy, Janusz Wojciechowski, European Commissioner for Agriculture, has now said there will be specific ones for individual actions under the F2F.
Europeans misunderstand health claims: Differences in culture, language, and enforcement policies across the European continent mean that consumers often fail to understand health claims on food packaging, according to new research by the European Insitute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).
Italian MEPs condemn Commission’s decision to fund lab-grown meat: The European Commission has received scrutiny from Italian MEPs on its decision to fund a research project aimed at advancing the progress of lab-grown meat.
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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