Outlaw food labels, rules are there but penalties are lacking

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Outlaw food labels and incorrect or absent information on foods served in public establishments. Impossible to ensure compliance if penalties are not established.

EU Regulation no. 1169/2011, on consumer information on food, came into force on December 13, 2011. And most of its new features apply from December 14, 2014. Throughout Europe except in Italy, where anarchy reigned from that date. Because successive governments have yet to update the sanctions framework, and regulators are thus deprived of tools to oversee the enforcement of the rules.




Food labels





Outlawed, allergy sufferers at risk



The issue is serious for allergic and celiac consumers, who cannot know the allergenic ingredients in foods served in public establishments, although they are entitled to do so. 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. (2) But not only that.


Outlaw food labels even on imported products

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 of regulations. Unreadable labels, inaccurate ingredient lists, (3) fallacious indications of origin,‘Italian sounding‘ are just a few examples of the damage done to consumers, but also to Italian companies that make transparent labels and yet face unfair competition from dishonest operators and traders.

The delegation of authority to the government was provided in the 2015 Community Delegation Act. How long should we wait for legal certainty in a key sector for the economy of the system-country?


Dario Dongo

Notes

(1) On December 14, 2016, regulations on the nutrition declaration on labels finally came into effect, http://www.foodagriculturerequirements.com/dichiarazione-nutrizionale-obbligatoria-al-via-il-14-12-16-labc-delle-norme-da-applicare/

(2) Without prejudice to the possibility for supervisory authorities to apply alternative measures, as reported at http://www.foodagriculturerequirements.com/etichette-prive-di-informazione-su-allergeni-quali-sanzioni-e-misure-adottare-in-sede-di-controllo-pubblico-ufficiale-risponde-lavvocato-dario-dongo/ and http://www.foodagriculturerequirements.com/europa-allergeni-come-garantire-oggi-lapplicazione-delle-regole/

(3) See http://www.foodagriculturerequirements.com/normative-allergeni-in-etichetta-gli-errori-piu-frequenti/

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