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Parliamentary questions
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27 July 2017
Joint answer given by Mr Andriukaitis on behalf of the Commission
Written questions: E-004044/17 , E-003755/17
Question references: E-003755/2017, E-004044/2017

As the Commission pointed out in its answer to Written Question E-003771/2016, Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011(1) provides that food information shall not be misleading as to the characteristics of the food and, in particular, as to its nature, identity, properties and composition or by suggesting, by means of the appearance, the description or pictorial representations, the presence of a certain ingredient or food, when, in reality, a component being naturally present or an ingredient normally used in that food has been substituted with a different component or a different ingredient(2).

In addition, where a substitution ingredient(s) is used in a product, the name of the product should be followed in close proximity by the name of the substitution ingredient(s)(3).

It is the responsibility of food business operators to find an appropriate name for substitution foods in accordance with the applicable Union and national rules. Member States are responsible for the enforcement of Union law and shall verify through official controls compliance by the operators with the applicable legislation.

The Commission considers that the applicable provisions are sufficient to protect consumers from being misled and is therefore not planning to introduce reserved terms for meat products within the general framework of Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013(4).

According to Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 the Commission shall adopt an implementing act on the suitability of foods to vegetarians or vegans. However, the Commission cannot commit at this stage to a specific date or to the content of this measure.

(1)Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers, OJ L 304, 22.11.2011, p. 18.
(2)Article 7(1)(a)&(d).
(3)Annex VI, part A, point 4.
(4)Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 establishing a common organisation of the markets in agricultural products, OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 671.

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