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Parliamentary questions
PDF 184kWORD 16k
8 June 2016
E-004701-16
Question for written answer E-004701-16
to the Commission
Rule 130
Norbert Erdős (PPE)

 Subject:  Appropriate information for diabetics and consumers with sensitivities to certain allergens
 Answer in writing 

From July this year, the regulation on food intended for infants and young children, food for special medical purposes, and total diet replacement for weight control, will put an end to the special labelling of foodstuffs as ‘diabetic’ or ‘can be consumed by diabetics’.

Although the ‘orange circle’ diabetic food labelling used in Hungary was misleading to consumers in many cases, a number of experts regard the abolition of awareness-raising labelling as a greater problem. Some say we should not ignore the fact that diabetes is generally accompanied by a deterioration in eyesight, and thus descriptions on packaging, often in tiny letters, make the provision of information to diabetics harder. They take the view that we should return to unambiguous symbols. Others regret the loss of the special labelling system for consumers suffering from allergic conditions. In their opinion, while manufacturers highlight the allergenic substances in the list of ingredients, they often do so in illegibly tiny letters, thus failing to achieve appropriate protection of consumers sensitive to certain allergens.

1. On the basis of what study or impact assessment does the Commission recommend the abolition of the ‘diabetic’ or ‘may be consumed by diabetics’ labels?2. Does the Commission plan to adopt new descriptions to aid the provision of information to diabetics, e.g. in a suitably large font?3. In the Commission's expert opinion, is there a need to draft special legislation to protect consumers who are sensitive to certain allergens?

Original language of question: HU 
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