February 22, 2011
BRUSSELSThe CIAA (Confederation of Food and Drink Industries of the EU) welcomed the European Union Agriculture Ministers Feb. 21 support of the EU Parliaments draft regulation endorsing Guideline Daily Amounts (GDAs) that would provide specific nutrition labeling on portions; however, it remained opposed to the extension of mandatory origin labeling.
CIAA said the Councils position is a good starting point for discussion at second reading scheduled for April 14, and it looks forward to reaching a balanced agreement that provides consumers with clear labeling to enable them to make informed food and beverage choices based on their individual needs. If existing rules are extended, CIAA is requesting an impact assessment, including a stakeholder consultation, be carried out to assess the need, feasibility and practicality of an extension.
CIAA fears that extending origin labeling to several types of meat would be "unworkable" as in many cases, "the origin or provenance may often change according to price, stock availability or place of production, etc." Moving forward, the CIAA looks to the EU institutions to find a compromise that would include the same field of vision for mandatory nutrients while giving due regard to the provision of additional information on energy (expressed in GDAs per portion) front-of-pack (FOP).
According to CIAA, the Council has taken a simplified approach to legibility, focusing on minimum font size, whereas other criteria (such as font type, contrast between the font and background, line and character pitch) are equally crucial to ensuring consumers are able to understand the information. Should the institutions demand a minimum font size, CIAA suggests it be no larger than 1 mm.
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