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Parliamentary questions
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28 June 2010
Answer given by Mr Dalli on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-3428/2010

The Commission White paper on a nutrition strategy for Europe(1) highlights the intake of salt (sodium) as an important element in citizens' nutrition and their long-term health. As a follow up to the White Paper, the Commission established in 2007 a High Level Group focused on nutrition and physical activity health-related issues to facilitate the exchange of ideas and good practices between governments. The reduction of salt intake is one of the areas of voluntary cooperation within this group.

In July 2008, the group agreed on an EU framework on national salt initiatives. The EU framework on salt reduction aims to contribute to reaching national or World Health Organisation salt intake recommendations. Measures foreseen include raising public awareness of the need to lower salt consumption and the risks associated with excessive salt consumption. Member States define themselves appropriate national measures in this regard.

The Commission is working on setting nutrient profiles, the nutritional criteria determining which foods may bear nutrition or health claims foreseen by Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006(2). The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) adopted an opinion in January 2008 and confirmed the negative impact of excessive salt intake on cardiovascular health.

The Commission believes that citizens should be provided with relevant information on nutrient composition of foods so that they can make informed choices. With this aim the Commission adopted a proposal(3) that nutrition labelling of certain key nutritional elements, including salt, should be mandatory on the majority of processed foods. The proposal is currently under consideration in the Parliament and Council.

(1)White Paper on a strategy for Europe on nutrition, overweight and obesity-related health issues, COM(2007)279 final.
(2)OJ L 404, 30.12.2006.
(3)COM(2008)40 final.

Juridisk meddelelse - Databeskyttelsespolitik