The European Court of Justice has rejected a British government attempt to strike down a European Union regulation controlling smoke flavourings in foods. London claimed that that rather than using legitimate EU treaty powers harmonising national laws, the regulation creates “a centralised procedure at EU level for the authorisation of smoke flavourings for foods”.

Judges however said the regulation’s insistence that smoke flavourings be “authorised only if it has been demonstrated that there are no risks to human health…(and)…if the use of those substances does not mislead consumers” into thinking a product was naturally smoked, did harmonise national laws. The European Commission has welcomed the ruling.