The Italian government is being taken to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) over its refusal to amend its rules regarding special prior marketing authorisation for certain sports foods and drinks.

The European Commission considers these regulations break European Union (EU) freedom of trade laws and it has asked the court to order Italy to comply.

Brussels is opposed to the authorisation itself, but is here complaining about the requirement for the registration number and the date of authorisation to be stated on the product’s label and/or packaging. “As a result, EU-based manufacturers must relabel or repackage the product to provide this information,” said a Commission note.

Meanwhile, Brussels is threatening legal action against Germany at the ECJ over its practice of classifying dried garlic capsules as medicines, making them subject to bureaucratic marketing authorisation procedures. The Commission thinks they should “more properly be regarded as food products” and that the regulation is “disproportionate” and “incompatible with the principle of the free movement of goods” as enshrined in European law.