Primary ingredient origin, green light from Brussels for Italian sounding


On the origin of the primary ingredient, Brussels confirms the green light forItalian sounding. With the support of the Gentiloni government and the agricultural confederations that support it.

Primary ingredient origin e
Italian sounding

EU Regulation 1169/11 required the origin or provenance of the primary ingredient (>50%) to be indicated on the label when it does not coincide with the declared Made in. That is, with the country where the product underwent its last substantial processing, evidence of which was given on the label and/or advertising. (1)

The European Commission has been delegated to issue an implementing regulation, (2) to concretely define how to apply the above rule. It has waited seven years, the Brussels executive, for yet another betrayal of consumer trust, and of the mandate received from the European legislature.


Italian sounding

will have a free field, thanks to the exemptions that Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis has proposed

and almost all member state governments agreed. (2)

It will be sufficient to include geographic suggestions within a registered trademark, or in a PGI (Protected Geographical Indication), to qualify for an exemption. And continue to hide that the primary ingredient comes from elsewhere.

Dairy and cheese from distantly sourced milk and curds, hams and salami from foreign meats, pasta from Canadian wheat, Asian rice? Simply put the tricolor in the brand, and the consumer will be deprived of the ability to distinguish the local supply chain from the globalized one. (3)

Even, the exemption is extended to ‘geographical terms included in customary and generic names, where such terms literally indicate origin, but whose common understanding is not an indication of country of origin or place of origin.’ Any possible form of Italian sounding is thus expressly legitimized.

The unspoken truths

Coldiretti complains now, after the games are over, of the European Commission regulation that betrays the Made in Italy in favor of theItalian sounding. But the Gentiloni government-which Coldiretti has always supported-voted in favor of this regulation. Instead of demanding from Brussels compliance with the mandate received from the European legislature, which did not provide for any exceptions.

The unspoken truths concern Italian decrees on the origin of pasta, rice and tomatoes. Decrees scheduled to become obsolete by Ministers Maurizio Martina and Carlo Calenda, which will lose effectiveness from the date of entry into force of the European regulation under consideration. (4) Shame!

Made in Italy
Italian sounding
, what to do?

To the Italian government to come

, the only


to undo the damage of its predecessors lies in the opportunity to appeal to the EU Court of Justice. To denounce the failure to comply with the delegation of authority given to the Commission by the European legislature. Which should have limited itself to implementing the simple rule introduced in the

Food Information Regulation

referred to above, (5) without the power to introduce any derogation whatsoever


The next steps are two.

Impose strictness in official public controls

on foods that in no way (with wording or graphic representations, if at all) are contained in trademarks,

suggest an untruthful origin. In fact, in all cases where the consumer may be misled about the actual origin of the products (understood as the place of their last substantial processing) it must be specified. (6)

The indication of the country of origin or place of provenance. is mandatory: where the omission of such a statement is likely to mislead the consumer as to the food’s actual country of origin or place of provenance, particularly if the information accompanying the food or contained on the label as a whole might otherwise suggest that the food has a different country of origin or place of provenance.a’ (EU reg. 1169/11, Art. 26.2.a)

Introduce arequirement for the

origin of meat in restaurants

. Consumers have the right to know the origin of meat, fish and meat products even when they eat meals outside the home (canteens, restaurants and trattorias,




). Especially since meals outside the home, at the European level, account for 50 percent of the total. (7)

Dario Dongo


(1) See reg. EU 1169/11, Article 26.3

(2) Germany and Luxembourg are the only governments that abstained from voting on the draft regulation, which they said was ‘too restrictive’

(3) For a review of the different cases that can be brought and the rules that will apply, see

(4) Reference is made to what is written in Part VI of the free ebook ‘1169 PENE – Reg. EU 1169/11. Food news, inspections and penalties‘, on

(5) See previous Note 1

(6) See reg. EU 1169/11, Art. 26.2.a. Rule already in effect, without the need for any act of enforcement by the traitors in Brussels. This is the case, for example, with Kraft Foods’ tricolor ‘Mirácoli’ brand, which is widely used throughout Europe on pasta and other Italian-sounding products that are produced in Germany but carry only the deceptive Made in EU labeling

(7) The paradox is that European consumers have had the right to know the countries of birth, rearing and slaughter of beef for retail sale for 18 years. However, without receiving any news about the meat administered by the communities

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