I have been attending an EU Food Law meeting this week on The Revision of the PARNUTs Directive  – it was attended by all the major companies.

See Nutraingredient article: MEPs back the proposals

Presentations from the EU Food Law Meeting

Charitini Frenaritou, Chair of the Foodstuffs Council’s Working Group, Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the EU, gave an outline of the Main Points of theagreement reached  between the two co-legislators, the Council of the EU and the European Parliament (endorsed by COREPER 19/11) on the  Proposal for a Regulation on Food Intended for Infants and Young Children, Food for Special Medical Purposes and Total Diet Replacement for Weight Control. This follows the third Triologue meeting on 14th November.

We don’t yet have permission to share the presentation and the decision still has to be approved in a 2nd Reading in the European Parliament  but the main points relating to infant and young child  feeding are as follows:

The aim of the Cyprus Presidency is to work towards a Better Europe so it has set the following priorities: 

  • Europe, more efficient and sustainable
  • Europe, with a better performing and growth- based economy
  • Europe, more relevant to its citizens
  • Europe in the world, closer to its neighbours
    • The majority of PARNUTs provisions date back to 1977 and need to be reviewed
    • Need to remove differences in interpretation by simplifying the regulatory environment.
    • The current framework regulating these products needed to be revised taking into account the evolution of the overall food regulatory system as well as the evolution of the market.

Th new Regulation will be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member State

It will establish compositional and information requirements for

a)infant formula and follow-on formula;

b)processed cereal-based food and baby food;

c)food for special medical purposes;

d)total diet replacement for weight control

It will establish a Union list of substances that may be added to one or more categories of those categories of food and provides rules for the update of this list.

To ensure uniform conditions for the implementation of this Regulation, implementing powers should be conferred on the Commission to decide: whether or not a given food falls within the scope of this Regulation and to which category of food under the scope it belongs

  • The Commission shall, after consulting EFSA, present to the European Parliament and to the Council a report on the necessity, if any, of special provisions regarding the composition, labelling and other types of requirements, if appropriate, of the milk-based drinks and similar products intended for young children. 
  • This report will consider, among others: 
  • The nutritional needs of young children and the scientific base of the added value of these products in the children’s diet. 
  • The Commission may accompany this report with a legislative proposal.
Foods for special medical purposes intended for infants 
Developments in the market accompanied by a notable increase of food for special medical purposes intended for infants makes it necessary to review requirements such as pesticides residues, labelling, presentation, advertising, promotional and commercial practices of formulas intended for infants that should also apply, as appropriate, to these foods
SMEs: To support SME’s there is provision to ensure that appropriate guidance is made available to the SME’s to assist them in the application of the Regulation.

The Commission is requested to adopt guidelines providing technical guidance to facilitate compliance for all food business operators, in particular the SME’s, with specific chapters of the regulation.

New Restrictions on presentation and advertising of infant formula and on labelling on infant formula and follow on formula

  • The presentation and advertising of infant formula shall not include pictures of infants, or other pictures or text which may idealise the use of this category of food
  • The labelling of infant formula and follow-on formula shall not include pictures of infants, or other pictures or text which may idealise the use of this category of food
For the purpose of a regular update of the requirements applying to food under the scope of this regulation, the Commission will adopt and update delegated acts taking into account all relevant data, including data provided by interested parties in relation to innovative products 
NANO Technology
When, for a substance that has been used in accordance with this Regulation, there is a significant change in the production method or a change in particle size, for example through nanotechnology, this substance should be considered different from the one that has been used in accordance with this Regulation and should be re-evaluated under Novel Food Regulation ((EC) No 258/97).
The maximum residues levels in the food under the scope of this regulation should be set at the lowest achievable level to protect vulnerable groups of the population, taking into account good agricultural practices as well as other sources of exposure, such as environmental contamination.
Limitations or bans of certain pesticides equivalent to those in the current provisions should be taken into account in delegated acts. Those limitations or bans should be updated regularly.
The Union List will be in the Annex of the regulation and it will be include the substances that:

  • are in the 3 lists of the current (Dir. 2006/141/EC,  2006/125/EC and Reg. 953/2009),  and
  • belongs to the following categories of substances: vitamins, minerals, amino acids, carnitine and taurine, nucleotides, choline and inositol.
  • The update of the Union list will be done by delegated acts.


Following this presentation Basil Matioudakis, Head of Unit,  gave a view from the European Commission

His presentation is HERE  where he:

  • Acknowledged that more rules are needed  to reflect the market situation (cf. SCFCAH Conclusions, 22/6/2012)
  • There should be Further restriction on legislation shopping
  • This is a strong political message for infants and young children
  • The Concept of ‘dietetic food’ is abolished

Other presentations including mine are available below.







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