2013-09-24 12:12:52 - On 12 June 2013 the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union adopted Regulation (EU) No 609/2013 (1) on food intended for infants and young children, food for special medical purposes, and total diet replacement for weight control ('Food for Specific Groups').
This regulation will apply from 20 July 2016 and aims to provide a better environment for businesses, improve the application of rules, and to better protect consumers on the content and marketing of these "special" food products. The new Regulation will repeal Directive 2009/39/EC ( eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2009:124:002 ..) and abolish the current concept of dietetic foods.
Amendments to the PARNUTs Directive
Historically, special dietetic foods have been legislated for by the European Framework Directive on Foods for Particular Nutritional Uses (also called ‘PARNUTs foods, which was first laid down in 1989, amended in 1999 and updated in 2009. The new Regulation (EU) No 609/2013 is referred to in shorthand as the Regulation on ‘Foods for Specific Groups’ and, until this new Regulation comes into
force, the 2009 PARNUTs Directive (2009/39/EC) shall continue to apply. A three year transition period started in July 2013 and will end in July 2016.
The new Regulation on Foods for Specific Groups will repeal not only the PARNUTs Framework Directive, but also each of the specialist PARNUTs Directives and associated pieces of legislation. Main points of the regulation include (2):
- Strengthen provisions on foods for vulnerable population groups that need particular protection e.g. infants and children up to 3 years old , overweight or obese people and people with specific medical conditions e.g. people with metabolism disorders;
- Set general compositional and labeling rules for infant and follow-on formulae, processed cereal-based foods and other baby foods, foods for special medical purposes and total diet replacement for weight control;
- Require the Commission to adopt through delegated acts specific compositional and labeling rules for:
(a) Infant and follow-on formulae;
(b) Processed-cereal based foods and other baby foods;
(c) Foods for special medical purposes and
(d) Total diet replacement for weight control.
- Replace the current 3 lists with a single Union list of substances that can be added to these foods including minerals and vitamins;
- Require the Commission to transfer rules on gluten-free foods and very low gluten under Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 ( eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2011:304:001 ..
) on food information for consumers in order to ensure clarity and consistency;
- Require the Commission to transfer rules and regulate meal replacement for weight control solely under Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 ( eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2006:404:000 ..
) on nutrition and health claims in order to ensure legal certainty.
As with all foods, special foods for specific groups must comply with relevant legislation covering hygiene, labeling, including nutritional labeling, additives, contaminants, weights and measures, nutrition and health claims and advertising.
(1) Regulation (EU) No 609/2013 ( eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2013:181:003 ..
(2) EU Legislation on dietetic foods/Food for Specific Groups (FSG) ( ec.europa.eu/food/food/labellingnutrition/nutritional/index_en.h ..
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