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Parliamentary question - E-003362/2016(ASW)Parliamentary question

Answer given by Mr Andriukaitis on behalf of the Commission

Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011[1] requires the Commission to submit various reports to the European Parliament and the Council regarding the possibility to introduce mandatory indication of the country of origin or place of provenance for certain food categories.

In that context, the Commission has adopted a report on the need to extend the mandatory origin labelling for milk, milk used as an ingredient in dairy products[2] and another on mandatory origin labelling of meat as an ingredient[3]. These reports concluded, on the basis of documented findings, that the mandatory origin labelling for foods in question does not appear to be an appropriate way forward at EU level, in the light of limited consumer willingness to pay for such information, the administrative burden and more generally, the impacts that this may have on EU competitiveness and trade. The Commission concluded therefore that voluntary origin labelling is the best approach to follow at EU level.

According to the abovementioned Regulation, Member States are allowed to introduce additional mandatory labelling particulars for specific food categories if they are duly justified on one of the specific grounds and supported by required information as mentioned in Article 39. On this basis, the French authorities notified a draft legislation requiring mandatory indication of origin of milk, milk ingredients and meat ingredients, for foods produced in France.

The Commission is currently assessing the notified text in the light of the general principle and provisions of the EU legislation and justifications provided by the French authorities. Pending the result of the assessment, the Commission is not in a position to announce any information on this matter.