Food fortification regulation nears approval

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: European union, Eu

Legislation to harmonise vitamin and mineral fortification levels
across EU member states looks set to be adopted within weeks,
following this week's favourable vote by the European Parliament.

The Fortified Foods Regulation will set out rules for the addition of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to foods, and include a 'positive list' of fortifying substances, as well as minimum and maximum levels.

The regulation has been deemed necessary since different member states currently operate their own restrictions, which creates an obstacle for the free movement of goods within the bloc.

Markos Kyprianou, European commissioner for health and consumer protection, said that, unless there are regulations in place, "there is the risk of over-consumption of certain nutrients"​.

Welcoming the vote, Kyprianou said: "The fortification of food must be done in a way that is safe and transparent… Food manufacturers throughout the EU will now be able to work under the same, clear, science-based rules."

The European Parliament vote came at the same time as the positive vote on the controversial Health and Nutrition Claims Regulation on Tuesday.

The Council is expected to approve the fortification regulation within weeks, and it will apply from six months after its publication in the Official Journal of the European Communities.

Foods not in compliance will still be able to be marketed in the EU for three years, however, as long as they have been labelled or made their market entry before the regulation comes into force.

There is also a seven-year transitional period with respect to vitamins and minerals not on the EU list, as long as they were already used in foods prior to the regulation and dossiers supporting their use are submitted to the Commission within three years.

The dossiers will then be evaluated by the European Food Standards Agency.

Got an opinion on fortified foods regulations? Email the editor​, indicating whether your comments are intended for publication.

Related topics: Minerals, Vitamins & premixes

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