The Council approved a compromise text aimed at ensuring that food labels carry
essential information in a clear and legible way following a second-reading agreement with the European Parliament. This means that the new regulation is now adopted.
The new food labelling rules enter into force 20 days after their publication in the Official Journal of the EU which is expected for the end of November. The vast majority of them become applicable three years after their publication.
The main objective of the new regulation is to enable consumers to make balanced and healthier dietary choices. In order to achieve this, prepacked food must in future be labelled with the energy value and the quantities of fat, saturates, carbohydrates, protein, sugars and salt.
The new piece of legislation extends the compulsory country of origin labelling to fresh
meat of pork, lamb and poultry. Currently, the indication of the country of origin is
compulsory notably for fresh beef (for which a separate piece of legislation was introduced
during the BSE crisis), fruits and vegetables, honey, olive oil and where the failure to do so
misleads consumers. The Commission must examine within two years after the entry into
force of the new regulation the possible extension of the compulsory labelling of the
country of origin to meat used as an ingredient. One year later, the Commission must
examine the same question with regard to other types of meat (than beef, pork, lamb and
poultry), milk, milk used as an ingredient, unprocessed foods, single-ingredient products
and ingredients that represent more than 50% of a food.
European Consilium/ EU.