EU

NETHERLANDS - WHOLE WHEAT PRODUCTS SHOULD BE MADE FROM 100% WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR

In a general notice, the Dutch Advertising Code Commission (Reclame Code Commissie) shares its opinion that in order claim the characteristic “whole wheat” a product should contain flour which is exclusively made from whole wheat grains.

After receiving a number of complaints for a diverse number of products, the body decided to share its view on the website. The body’s opinion refers to the European Court of Justice-case Teekanne (C-195/14) where the image of vanilla and raspberry-blossoms on front of pack were considered to be misleading because the tea only contained artificial flavourings. The Dutch Commission elaborates that a front of pack or other explicit label indication of “whole wheat” creates the impression the  product’s flour constituents comprise entirely of whole grain. The fact the list of ingredients indicates the actual -none whole wheat- characteristics of the other flour components would not lift that impression.

Reclame Code Commissie (20 September 2019) - link

NETHERLANDS - PLANT BASED ALTERNATIVES CAN COMPARE TO DAIRY PRODUCTS

A ruling by the Netherlands highest court clarifies that the existence of reserved names for dairy products does not exclude the use of such names in the marketing of plant based alternatives.

The Dutch Dairy Association NZO had initiated proceedings against Alpro, a major producer of plant based alternatives to dairy products. For the largest part, Alpro products including drinks and desserts are made from soybeans. In the application of EU Regulation 1308/2013 of 17 December 2013 establishing a common organisation of the markets in agricultural products, the denominations of dairy products is largely restricted to products derived from animal milk. By consequence, dairy alternatives cannot use names such as yoghurt, cream, whey or cheese.

NZO argued the denominations of a number Alpro’s products would contain reserved names or at least would be leading to the belief they are dairy products. For instance, the indication “mild and creamy” for a fatty soy emulsion would, in the opinion of NZO, imply the emulsion is made from milk. Further, Alpro made them mention for yoghurt-alternatives that they are an alternative to yoghurt and contain yoghurt ferments.

The case made it to the Court of Cassation, the highest court of the Netherlands, which interpreted the application of EU Regulation 1308/2013 to the given case. The latter Court clarified that although it is not allowed to designate plant based products with any of the names reserved for milk products, such does not preclude the reference to milk products in the labelling or communication of plant-based products. Such references are permitted as long as they do not suggest the plant based product to be dairy products [derived from milk]. Meaning that the indication “alternative to yoghurt” could be acceptable in the communication of Alpro products.

HOGE RAAD DER NEDERLANDEN (31 August 2019) - ECLI:NL:HR:2019:1293 - link

EU - EFSA ESTABLISHES DRV’S FOR SALT – SODIUM AND CHLORIDE

The EFSA Panel concludes that a Sodium intake of 2 grams per day is the adequate intake for the general adult population, while for Chloride the adequate intake for adults is considered to be 3.1 grams per day. The given levels of both nutrients corelate since they are obtained from Salt (Sodium Chloride) as the main dietary source.

The Panel further determines the individual adequate intakes of Chloride and Sodium for different age groups.

Taking into account the adverse health effects of high sodium intakes, such as high blood pressure and hypertension, the risk of stroke, cardiovascular diseases and coronary hearth disease, the intake of sodium should remain sufficiently low. At the given level of 2 grams of Sodium per day the risk of cardiovascular disease is low, while at the same time the physiological sodium balance is maintained. The Panel elaborates that current median intakes by the general European population are above the safe and adequate level of sodium. Therefore the set reference values can serve for further public health initiatives on the reduction of Sodium intakes.

EFSA, Dietary reference values for sodium - link

EFSA, Dietary reference values for chloride - link

ITALY IMPOSES WARNINGS FOR THE USE OF CURCUMA SUPPLEMENTS

ITALY IMPOSES WARNINGS FOR THE USE OF CURCUMA SUPPLEMENTS

The Italian Ministry of Health introduces precautions for the use of plant preparations and extracts derived from the Curcuma genus. It will be required to include in the labelling of curcuma containing preparations that in case of liver conditions, or conditions related to the biliary or the biliary tract or in case of calculosis the use of the product is not recommended. In the event of concomitant use of medicines, it is advised to consult a doctor.


NORWAY STRENGTHENS RULES ON ADDITION OF NUTRIENTS AND USE OF OTHER SUBSTANCES

NORWAY STRENGTHENS RULES ON ADDITION OF NUTRIENTS AND USE OF OTHER SUBSTANCES

A recent Norwegian amending act creates additional rules on the addition of vitamins and minerals and the use of other substances in foods. The positive list of permitted other substances is also applicable to use in food supplements. The amendment makes that Norway is taking a stricter approach on the addition of vitamins and minerals to foods than the general European Union approach.

NETHERLANDS EXTENDS LIST OF TOXIC BOTANICALS

NETHERLANDS EXTENDS LIST OF TOXIC BOTANICALS

An amendment to the Dutch Commodities Act Decree on Herbal Preparations (Dutch: Warenwetbesluit Kruidenpreparaten) introduces additional restrictions for the use of herbal preparations. Firstly, it adds a number of toxic compounds that herbal preparations may not contain such as scopolamine and their derivates. Further the amendment inserts Aconitum carmichaelii, Aconitum kusnezoffii and Pilocarpus jaborandi to the list of restricted plants.