An investigation carried out by a Slovakian consumer organisation recently aroused media attention when it highlighted differences in the composition of food products marketed by well‑known brands in certain Member States in central and eastern Europe.
Although the investigation into food products demonstrated that quality varied between EU Member States, this is unlikely to imply the existence of any effects detrimental to health. Nonetheless, I should like to use this opportunity to highlight how this issue affects consumers, specifically in relation to trademarks and the marketing of the products concerned.
Since it seems unlikely that this issue affects only food products (some unofficial sources report similar practices in the car industry), I should like to ask whether the Commission deems it acceptable that products protected by trademarks and marketed under trademarks can have different ingredients in different countries, which naturally entails differences in quality?
Does the Commission view this as a problem of the internal market and of consumer protection?
Can the Commission take steps to address this issue? If so, what will these steps be?