Sunday, September 05, 2010

UK unveils new labelling responsibilities

Food reports on the  UK Government's change of food responsibilities. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) will retain responsibility for food safety aspects of labelling. This will cover:

• scientific advice on the food safety aspects of date marking
• assessment and labelling of ingredients/foods with food safety implications (e.g. allergens, glycols, high caffeine, high glycyrrhizinic acid)
• food safety aspects of organic food and of foods controlled by compositional standards
• treatments and conditions of use with food safety implications (e.g. quick frozen foods, raw drinking milk and pasteurisation, food contact materials)
• GM and novel foods (including use of nanotechnology)
• EU General Food Law regulation, including traceability of food
• Codex Committees on Food Hygiene, Methods of Analysis and Sampling, Food Additives, Contaminants in Foods

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will continue to cover its current labelling responsibilities, such as welfare, marketing standards and eco labelling. It will also now deal with labelling where this does not relate to food safety or nutrition. This includes:

• general lead on food labelling legislation and relevant EU negotiations
• lead on the EU Food Information proposal
• country of origin labelling
• food composition standards and labelling such as fruit juice and fruit nectars, jams and bottled water
• technical advice on compositional standards for food without specific legislation, such as soft drinks and cereal products
• fish labelling
• use of marketing terms e.g. natural, fresh, clear labelling, vegan and vegetarian labelling
• food authenticity programme
• Codex Committees for: Food Labelling, Processed Fruits and Vegetables, Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, Fats and Oils, Fish and Fishery Products, Europe, General Principles
• lead on Codex Alimentarius Commission, General Principles and Coordinating Committee for Europe

The Department of Health will cover nutritional labelling policy (and relevant EU negotiations).This will include:

• nutrition related aspects of the EU food information regulation
• front of pack labelling
• food for particular nutritional uses (PARNUTS)
• infant formula and follow on formula
• health and nutrition claims
• food supplements
• calorie information in catering establishments
• Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses