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Parliamentary questions
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6 September 2018
Joint answer given by Mr Andriukaitis on behalf of the European Commission
Written questions: E-003659/18 , E-003973/18 , E-003879/18
Question references: E-003659/2018, E-003879/2018, E-003973/2018

Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011(1) provides that food information must not be misleading, amongst others, as to the nature and composition of the food and requires the indication of the quantity of an ingredient or category of ingredients used in the manufacture or preparation of a food where the ingredient or category of ingredients concerned is emphasised on the labelling in words, pictures or graphics.

Council Directive 2001/112/EC(2) provides that fruit juices are obtained only from fruit and the product name shall be composed of a list of the fruit used.

In addition, Directive 2005/29/EC(3) complements sector-specific legislation such as Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 to ensure a high level of consumer protection against unfair commercial practices.

The responsibility for enforcing the Union rules relevant for this answer lies with the Member States. It follows, that the possible misleading character of a food label will at first be assessed on a case-by-case-basis at national level.

In the context of the adoption of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011, various Member States considered that, when used, terms such as ‘natural’, ‘traditional’ or ‘artisanal’, are so much linked to national culture and practices that they should be assessed locally through national case law or guidance set at national level(4).

The Commission therefore considers that the provisions mentioned above are sufficient (i) to ensure that the consumer is adequately informed about the quantity of an ingredient and (ii) to protect consumers from being misled. Therefore, the Commission does not have the intention of proposing a further harmonisation at EU level on the use of terms such as ‘natural’, ‘traditional’ or ‘artisanal’, nor to propose new specific provisions for the labelling of fruit drinks.

(1)Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2011 on the provision of food information to consumers, (OJ L 304, 22.11.2011, p. 18).
(2)Council Directive 2001/112/EC of 20 December 2001 relating to fruit juices and certain similar products intended for human consumption, (OJ L 10, 12.1.2002, p. 58‐66).
(3)Directive 2005/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 May 2005 concerning unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices, OJ L 149, 11.6.2005, p. 22.

Last updated: 7 September 2018Legal notice