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16 June, 2024
 
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EU Parliament votes for clearer labels on breakfast foods

New rules in transparency aim to help you make healthier breakfast choices

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In a move aimed at empowering consumers and promoting healthier choices, the European Parliament has greenlit updated regulations governing breakfast staples such as honey, fruit juice, jam, and marmalades.

With a resounding majority of 603 votes in favor, 9 against, and 10 abstentions, Parliament endorsed the revised "breakfast directives" on Wednesday. These directives focus on enhancing the transparency of product composition, nomenclature, labeling, and presentation.

Key provisions of the updated rules include mandatory, conspicuous labeling of the country of origin for honey, a measure intended to combat adulterated honey imports from non-EU countries. Additionally, the directives initiate the development of a comprehensive honey traceability system to ensure product integrity.

Furthermore, the regulations mandate clearer labeling regarding sugar content in fruit juices and establish minimum fruit content requirements for jams and marmalades.

Rapporteur Alexander Bernhuber (EPP, Austria) emphasized the significance of these measures in bolstering consumer awareness and safeguarding against honey fraud. He remarked, "Today we have taken an important step in the labeling of the origin of foodstuffs and adopted strict measures to combat honey fraud."

Bernhuber highlighted the requirement for a clear indication of the country of origin on honey blends and underscored the establishment of higher quality standards. Moreover, he stressed the necessity of an EU traceability system for honey to ensure both consumer information and protection for beekeepers.

The legislation now awaits adoption by the Council, followed by publication in the EU Official Journal. It is set to come into force 20 days after publication, with EU member states required to implement the new rules within two years.

The proposed revisions to the EU marketing standards for breakfast directives were initially put forth by the European Commission on April 21, 2023. The move seeks to modernize existing standards, which have remained largely unchanged for over two decades.

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Cyprus  |  Europe  |  safety  |  foods  |  health

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