Impunity and negligence. Italian government omits sanctions on reg. EU 1169/11

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Impunity and negligence. Italian government omits sanctions on Reg. EU 1169/11, with serious damage to the Made in Italy food supply chain and its consumers. But the delegation of parliament, like the patience of citizens, has a time limit. And it is now nearing expiration.

The Italian government-with the 2015 European Delegation Law (1)-was instructed to adapt the previous national legislation to the provisions set forth in Reg. EU 1169/11. (2) And to define appropriate sanctions, by 9/16/17. In order to punish violations of common rules on food labeling and advertising.

EU Regulation No.1169/2011, on consumer information on food, came into force on 13.12.11. And most of its new features apply from 14.12.14. Throughout the Internal Market except in Italy, where as of the latter date there is anarchy. Because pending appropriate sanctions, regulators are without tools to supervise the enforcement of the rules.

The issue is particularly serious for allergic consumers and those with celiac disease, who cannot know the allergenic ingredients in foods served in public establishments, even though they are entitled to them. Nor can they easily distinguish foods that are safe for them, thanks to the graphic evidence of individual allergenic ingredients on the packaging of food products for sale. But not only that.

It is impossible to ensure the completeness and truthfulness of the labels of all foods – Italian and imported – that are distributed in Italy, without punishing violations. Unreadable labels, inaccurate ingredient lists, fallacious indications of origin, and Italian sounding are just a few examples of the serious harm done to consumers. As well as serious Italian operators, who make transparent labels and yet face unfair competition from rogue operators and traders.

We therefore address our appeal to Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni and Ministers Beatrice Lorenzin, Maurizio Martina and Carlo Calenda to urgently see to the exercise of the delegation of authority. (3) Before forcing us to report the guilty delay to the European Commission, as it is already too late.

Dario Dongo

Notes

(1) See Act Aug. 12, 2016 no. 170, Article 5

(2) C.d. Food Information Regulation.

(3) Italy’s agribusiness supply chain, which expresses among other things the country’s leading manufacturing sector, deserves more. A food code first and foremost, as we have repeatedly pointed out

 

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Dario Dongo, lawyer and journalist, PhD in international food law, founder of WIISE (FARE - GIFT - Food Times) and Égalité.