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© Martin Kieffer - Attorney
Kieffer Legal Services
Law Firm
Rochusstraße 217, 53123 Bonn
NRW / Germany

Tel.: +49 228 18060951
Fax: +49 228 18060952


Euopean Court of Justice: plant-based foods cannot not use diary names

On 14 June 2017 the European Court of Justice ruled that plant-based products cannot be marketed with  diary names such as cheese, butter, cream or jogurt, because these denominations are only protected for animal products pursuant to Regulation 1308/2008.

The Court concluded that designations sich as Tofu butter’, ‘Plant cheese’, ‘Veggie Cheese", etc. cannot be legally used to designate a purely plant-based product unless that product is mentioned on the list of exceptions, which is not the case for soya and tofu (Judgment in Case C-422/16).

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Are online traders of organic foods exempted from the control system of Regulation 834/2007?

With its request for a preliminary ruling, the German Bundesgerichtshof (Federal Court of Justice) submitted a request to the European Court of Justice regarding the interpretation of Regulation No 834/2007, which, in Article 27, obliges Member States to set up a system of controls and, in Article 28(2), allows them to exempt certain types of retailers from that control system. The question that the referring court asks, in essence, is whether online retailers can also benefit from such an exemption.

On 8 June 2017 the Advocate General of the European delivered its opinion to the court.

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WHO: monitoring food and beverage marketing to children via television and internet

The WHO intoduced a tool that seeks to quantify the extent and nature of children’s exposure to marketing for HFSS foods (high in saturated fat, salt and/or free sugars) via television and the Internet.

The protocol, and accompanying coding forms, sets out a system by which Member States can catalogue marketing via either or both of these avenues, and includes both minimal and expanded versions to allow for different levels of complexity of data collection, depending on a country’s needs and the research capabilities of the team doing the work. Using this method will provide data on both exposure and power of marketing to children.

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EFSA: Recommended daily intake values for added sugar announed by mid 2020

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) announced to publish a scientifc opinion on how much added sugar can be included in a healthy diet by 2020.

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Glyphosat not classified as a carcinogen by ECHA

ECHA's Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) agrees to maintain the current harmonised classification of glyphosate as a substance causing serious eye damage and being toxic to aquatic life with long-lasting effects. RAC concluded that the available scientific evidence did not meet the criteria to classify glyphosate as a carcinogen, as a mutagen or as toxic for reproduction.

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ECJ: an amino acid is not nescessarily a risk to health

On 19 Janary 2017 the European Court of Justice decided  whether the German legislation at issue in the main proceedings is in breach of EU law in that it, first, prohibits the use of amino acids in food in general, regardless of whether there are reasons to suspect that there is a risk to health and, second, imposes conditions on the possibility of obtaining a derogation.

The Lebensmittel- und Futtermittelgesetzbuch (German Code on foodstuffs and animal feed)  aims to protect human health by prevention measures in the private national field or to prevent a risk that these products present or may present. The referring court referred to the version of the Code published on 3 June 2013 (BGBl. 2013 I, p. 1426), as amended byParagraph 2 of the Law of 5 December 2014.

In essence the European Court of Justice ruled:

Articles 6 and 7 of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2002 laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety must be interpreted as precluding national legislation, such as that at issue in the main proceedings, which prohibits the manufacture, processing or marketing of any food supplement containing amino acids, unless a derogation has been issued by a national authority with discretion in that respect, where that legislation is based on a risk analysis which concerns only certain amino acids, which it is for the referring court to verify. In any event, those articles must be interpreted as precluding such national legislation, where that legislation lays down that the derogations to the prohibition covered by it may only be granted for a specific period even in cases where the safety of a substance is established.

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Welfare labelling scheme for Germany announced

Germany’s agriculture minister, Christian Schmidt, has announced plans to introduce a voluntary welfare labelling scheme, initially just for pig meat. The intention is to eventually extend this to poultry and cattle for both meat and dairy products. The proposed state label would be voluntary and applicable to animals reared in good conditons.
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Revision of Swiss food Law

Switzerland published a package of revised food regulations which will come into force in May 2017. Following the revision of the General Food Law in 2014 Switzerland has amended further regulations and ordinances to a greater degree with its EU neighbours. While the legislation is quite similar, however there are some differences.

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