03 Dec 2015
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 03 DECEMBERBrussels Daily
Food: Report concludes that EU action is needed to set legal limits on trans fats
The European Commission has today adopted a report on trans fats (TFA) in food and in the overall diet of Europeans. Trans fats are a particular type of fats that may notably be produced industrially as partially hydrogenated oils.The Commission’s preliminary report suggests that setting a legal limit for industrial TFA content would be the most effective measure in terms of public health, consumer protection and compatibility with the single market. The way in which such legal limit could be technically put into practice would require further investigation. The report notes that there are food products with high industrial TFA content available on the European market and there are public health gains to be reaped by reducing intake. It’s worth noticing that the issue seems to be a worldwide concern. For instance, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has adopted a decision last June to remove partially hydrogenated oils from foods within three years. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the EU and a high intake of TFA seriously increases the risk for heart disease – more than any other nutrient on a per calorie basis. Although average intake in the EU has been reported below national and international recommended levels, this cannot be said for all groups of population. This report analyses how effective different EU wide measures could be on the potential health benefits for consumers but also the potential burdens for food producers. The options that were investigated included mandatory labelling of TFA, setting legal limits of TFA content in food and voluntary approaches to food reformulation. So far, TFA labelling is not well understood by consumers and increases the complexity of identifying healthier food choices. The effectiveness of voluntary approaches to food reformulation could be limited as it would clearly depend on the scope of industry participation and the coverage of food products on the market. The Commission will shortly launch a public consultation and carry out an impact assessment to collect more information and build on the analysis provided by today’s report. This process will inform the Commission’s policy decision in the near future. For more information read also the Report, Factsheet and Joint Research Centre report: Trans fatty acids in Europe: where do we stand?
Regional Policy: with all 2014-2020 programmes now adopted, the focus is on implementation
The Commission adopted a new Regional Policy programme for the Italian region of Campania, worth over €4 billion, with more than €3 billion coming from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). As it was the last ERDF “Investment for Jobs and Growth” programme left to be adopted for 2014-2020, this adoption officially marks the beginning of the implementation phase of the new programming period. Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Creţu said: “I am glad to have adopted all the ERDF Operational Programmes for 2014-2020; we now have solid, performance-oriented investment packages in place to help regions and cities reach the EU goals of growth and job creations. Now it is up to the regions and cities to implement the programmes on time, select quality projects and ensure an efficient and strategic use of the funds on the ground.” A full press release is available here. The expected results of the 2014-2020 programmes and their contribution to EU objectives of growth and jobs, to the Investment Plan and to the Commission’s priorities over the decade will be disclosed and detailed in the Communication on “Investing in jobs and growth – maximising the contribution of the European Structural and Investment Funds” that will be issued on 14 December. Today Commissioner Creţu is also presenting the main achievements of the Task Force for Better Implementation in a press conference which you can follow live on EbS.
- EUROSTAT: Volume of retail trade down by 0.1% in euro area
- 7 million homes to get smart meters for energy use under €315 billion Investment Plan for Europe
- State aid: Commission opens formal investigation into Luxembourg’s tax treatment of McDonald’s
- Statement by the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Council Donald Tusk and the Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Tan Dung on European Union and Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (FTA)
|Read today’s edition in full: Dairy News 03 – 12 -2015|