Tuesday, 12 June 2018
Department of Health
711. To ask the Minister for Health if his Department has been consulted on proposed EU comments on draft Codex guidelines on the use of front of pack nutrition labelling; if his Department has received a request to send DG SANTE an update of an earlier survey sent out in the context of the REFIT evaluation of the nutrition and health claims regulation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24799/18]
712. To ask the Minister for Health if his Department will be represented at the second meeting on front of pack nutrition labelling, which will take place at the end of June 2018 or early in July 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24800/18]
713. To ask the Minister for Health his plans to meet stakeholders on the use of front of pack nutrition labelling as part of the European Commission's work under way on same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24801/18]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 711 to 713, inclusive, together.
Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers (FIC) requires the European Commission to adopt a report on the use of additional forms of expression and presentation of the nutrition declaration, their effect on the internal market, and the advisability of further harmonisation in this field. Such additional forms of expression are commonly referred to as “front of pack” (FOP) nutrition labelling. A number of such schemes are already in operation within EU Member States.
The Commission has postponed adoption of a report until the end of 2018, in order to consider the technical aspects related to FOP nutrition labelling and to examine, discuss and consider the experience to date in the adoption of such FOP schemes and their usefulness to the consumer.
To that end, the European Commission convened a joint meeting between Member States, the Commission and multiple stakeholders on FOP nutrition labelling. This took place on 23 April 2018. The agenda, meeting summary and copies of the presentations are available on the Commission’s website at the following website:
An invitation has since been received from the Commission to attend a second joint meeting which is scheduled to take place in Brussels on 22 June. The detailed agenda and papers for this meeting are awaited. The meeting will be attended by officials from my Department and/or the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI).
At the meeting on 23 April, the Commission stated that Member States will receive a request to send DG SANTE any update of an earlier survey sent out in the context of the REFIT evaluation of the Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation. My Department, in consultation with the FSAI, will respond when the request is received.
As regards FOP proposals generally, it is normal practice for the Department, in collaboration with the FSAI, to consider the views of stakeholders as appropriate. It should be noted that the overall aim of any FOP nutrition information is that it should be of practical use and benefit to consumers.