A general obligation of origin labelling for all foodstuffs

The 2260 bill became law. The measure provides for the obligation to indicate on the label the origin of food at all stages of the supply chain, as it already happens for fresh milk, poultry, beef, eggs, honey, fresh fruit and vegetables, wine and olive oil. In particular, in order to fully inform consumers and to strengthen prevention and suppression of food frauds, the new provisions involve not only the obligation to indicate the source or origin of products, but also the obligation to indicate on the label any use of ingredients containing GMOs. With regard to the identification of the place of origin, it must be clarified that, under the new provisions, such indication relates to the country of production for unprocessed foods and to "the place where the last significant substantial transformation has taken place and the place of cultivation and breeding of agricultural raw material mainly used in the preparation or manufacture of product"for processed foods. The law also provides for administrative fines for the marketing of products in violation of the labelling’s obbligations. The origin labelling will be mandatory from the third month following the entry into force of each of the decrees to which the new measure refers and that have still to be issued. Once published in the Official Gazette, the new law will be examined by the European Commissioner for Health and by the European Commissioner for Competition as the exclusive competence for origin labelling is up to the European Union. The latter, in the past, has already proven not to agree with provisions introducing a general obligation of origin labelling for all food products as they infringe the principles of free competition. Italy could thus risk a new infringement procedure.

01/24/2011 | Trade Mark