The European Parliament has endorsed a final deal agreed with EU member states on regulations on the composition of infant formula, baby food, diet replacements and special medical foods.

According to the new rules, milk-based preparations for babies up to one year old will not be allowed to include images that would idealise such preparations and therefore discourage breast-feeding. The new regulation mandates a list of EU-approved substances, including vitamins and minerals that can be added to baby foods and special medical foods, instead of three existing approved lists.

The regulation does not cover gluten-free, lactose-free and sports food products, as initially proposed by the European Commission. Gluten-free food products will, for the time being, be regulated by the general regulation on food information to consumers passed in 2011 (EU regulation 1169/2011). Under the deal, the Commission will now draft new specific proposed legislation on lactose-free and sports food products.

The European Dietetic Food Industry Association (IDACE), which represents the specialised nutrition industry in Europe, wants to see Brussels take swift follow-up steps to protect sportsmen and women and those suffering from coeliac disease.

“Work remains to be done in order to complete this basic act, and to ensure appropriate legal solutions for several categories of specialised nutrition for which the legislative future remains unclear,” said Roger Clarke, member of the IDACE operational board.

Belgian liberal MEP Frédérique Ries, who piloted the new special foods law through the European Parliament, said: “This [vote] wraps 21 months of work.”

The new rules will apply starting mid-2016, three years after the publication of the legislation in the EU’s official journal.