AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

Labelling – Proposal

Proposal P161 on specific labelling
statements, which has been developed as part of the on-going review of current Australian
and New Zealand standards.

The Authority recommends the mandatory
declaration of the presence of certain foods and additives that have the potential to
cause severe adverse reactions (cereals containing gluten; crustaceans and their products;
egg and egg products; fish and fish products; peanuts, soya beans and their products; milk
and milk products; tree nuts, sesame seeds and their products; and sulphites at
concentrations above 25 mg/kg). In addition, the document reviews the need for specific
warning or advisory statements for certain foods, ingredients and additives (including
polyols, phenylalanine, caffeine, quinine, lactose, unpasteurised dairy products and
unpasteurised liquid egg).


EC

Ionising Radiation

Directive 1999/2/EC of 22 February 1999 has
been published on the approximation of the laws of the Member States concerning foods and
food ingredients treated with ionising radiation. This Directive lays down framework
measures and provides for a Community list of foodstuffs to be drawn up by 31 December
2000.

Member States must permit the marketing and
use of irradiated foodstuffs complying with this Directive by 20 September 2000 and
prohibit the marketing and use of irradiated foodstuffs not complying with this Directive
by 20 March 2001.

Labelling

Commission Directive 1999/10/EC of 8 March
1999 has been published providing for derogations from the provisions of Article 7 of
Council Directive 79/112/EEC as regards the labelling of foodstuffs. This Directive
provides for derogations from certain provisions on Quantitative Ingredient Declaration
(QUID).

Member States are required to implement the
provisions of this Directive by 31 August 1999 so as to permit trade in products complying
with its provisions by 1 September 1999 and to prohibit trade in non-complying products
from 14 February 2000.

However, products placed on the market or
labelled before that date that do not comply with the Directive may be marketed until
stocks are exhausted.

Scientific Committee on Food –
Minutes and Opinions

A statement from the 116th meeting of the
SCF is now available. This concerns the discussion and possible adoption of a draft
opinion concerning a list of products that do not require labelling as they do not contain
detectable traces of DNA or protein, pursuant to EC Regulation No. 1139/98. The SCF noted
that, whilst scientific aspects were of relevance, there were no safety issues that needed
consideration in addressing this question but did not have sufficient time to conclude its
discussion.

The SCF was of the opinion that the
availability of adequate analytical methods was a prerequisite to including particular
products in such a list, and the discussion will be continued at the next SCF meeting on
16/17 June.

Units of Measurement – Proposal

A proposal for a European Parliament and
Council Directive amending Directive 80/181/EEC on the approximation of the laws of the
Member States relating to units of measurement has been published.

This proposal would extend the transition
period that permits the labelling of products with supplementary units of measurement in
addition to the legally required metric units to 31 December 2009.


UK

GM Labelling – Amendment

Leatherhead Food RA has received a letter
from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and Department of Health Joint Food
Safety and Standards Group (JFSSG) enclosing the Food Labelling (Amendment) Regulations
1999 which enforce EC Regulation No. 1139/98 on the labelling of foodstuffs
containing certain genetically modified (GM) soya or maize. The Amendment came into force
on 19 March 1999 and amends the Food Labelling Regulations 1996.

Labelling is required for prepacked foods,
except for small packages and certain glass bottles. For foods that are non-packed or
prepacked for direct sale (e.g. food sold in restaurants, bakeries, delicatessens etc.) it
is allowed for staff to provide required GM information on request, and a six month lead
time is set for staff training and information preparation.

Details of reports from Leatherhead Food RA Click Here