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Parliamentary questions
PDF 102kWORD 19k
12 July 2018
E-003879-18
Question for written answer E-003879-18
to the Commission
Rule 130
Dimitrios Papadimoulis (GUE/NGL)

 Subject:  Misleading food labelling
 Answer in writing 

In a recent report, the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) highlighted various ways in which food producers in the European Union can mislead consumers by using food and drink labels that do not accurately reflect the quality of the products, such as manufactured products with labels reading ‘traditional’ or ‘handmade’, and bread, biscuits, pasta, dairy and other products that contain a minimal amount of the product they display, and so on.

According to the BEUC, the problem lies in the absence of European rules about when food producers may use such terms. Consumer organisations in European countries have uncovered these misleading practices and the pressure they have applied has forced certain food manufacturers to revise their labelling.

It is noted that European legislation stipulates that food labelling and packaging should not mislead consumers.

In view of the above, can the Commission say:
1. Is it aware of this practice by food companies, and how does it intend to deal with the phenomenon?
2. Will minimum content levels for whole grains, fruit and others be adopted to more effectively protect consumers in the Member States?
3. Does it intend to develop European definitions for terms such as ‘traditional’, ‘handmade’, ‘natural’ and others in order to prevent practices that mislead consumers?
Original language of question: EL 
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