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European solutions is the basic idea of food law

The German food sector's expectation of the EU Institutions from 2019 to 2024
One of the most important European success stories is the harmonisation of food law. The Single Market ensures that the same food quality and safety standards apply across Europe – to protect consumers and provide security for companies in the food sector.

Regulatory solutions ensuring consumer and health protection must be found for all consumers in the EU. In food law, harmonisation should therefore always be the first choice, with very few exceptions. In addition, the “harmonised application” of the law should also be the focus of efforts in the upcoming legislative period. Harmonisation must always respect subsidiarity and proportionality, just as the European Commission Task Force has explained in detail recently under the keyword “less but more efficient action”. Only then, the concerns of small and medium-sized enterprises that are so characteristic and essential for the food sector can be taken into account adequately.

Example: maximum levels for vitamins and minerals


For more than 15 years, policy makers, regulators and manufacturers have been talking about legal requirements for maximum levels of vitamins and minerals in food supplements and fortified foods. Until now, however, Member States have failed to agree on common values. We advocate statutory maximum levels of vitamins and minerals at EU level that are based on the safety principle to give manufacturers and consumers (legal) security throughout the EU. To achieve this, after ten years of stagnation, we need a serious effort to bring together national definitions, perspectives and convictions on a scientific basis towards a common solution. The food industry will make its contribution to this.

Example: nutrient profiles


Likewise, and based on the results of the fitness check of the Commission, it will be decided whether to adopt “nutrient profiles” as a prerequisite for the use of nutrition and health claims. From the point of view of the German food sector, the division of food into “good” and “bad” products is neither scientifically justified nor expedient to fight overweight and nutrition-related diseases. This specifically applies in in the context of nutrition and health claims because they are subject to strict scientific requirements, assessed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and then approved by the European legislator – and especially as mandatory nutrition labelling ensures, information about the nutritional composition of all foods.


What else does the German food sector expect from the Institutions and the Member States of the European Union in the legislative period until 2024? Click here for the overview.
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