New EU food labelling rules came into effect on the 13th December 2014, adopted by the European Parliament and the Council in 2011 (Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011). The requirements are intended to ensure that consumers receive clearer, more comprehensive and accurate information on food content, and help them make informed choices about what they eat.
Under the new requirements, all ingredients present in the form of engineered nanomaterials must be clearly indicated in the list of ingredients. The names of such ingredients must be followed by the word “nano” in brackets.
Food business operators have been given three years to ensure a smooth transition towards the new labelling regime for prepacked and non-prepacked foods. In addition, the Regulation provides for exhaustion of stocks for foods placed on the market or labelled before 13th December 2014 (N.B. this does not include exhaustion of stocks of labels).
The European Commission has been working together with businesses to ensure that the new rules will be properly implemented, and a series of FAQs have been published in the EC website.
Work is also underway on developing an EU database to facilitate the identification of all EU and national mandatory labelling rules in a simple way. This will offer a user-friendly tool for all food business operators and for SME's to consult. The work for the creation of the database was anticipated to commence in 2015.
Further information on the new EU food labelling requirements is available on the EC website.