New rules for food intended for vulnerable persons will be entering into force soon. The European Parliament confirmed, on 11 June, the compromise concluded six months earlier with the Council on the draft regulation on food intended for infants and young children, food for special medical purposes and total diet replacement for weight control. This stage completes adoption of the text, which repeals Directive 2009/39/EC on foodstuffs intended for particular nutritional uses, as well as a number of Commission acts implementing the directive.
The new rules address the situation that allows certain similar foods to be marketed in different member states as "food for particular nutritional uses" and/or as "food for normal consumption addressed to the population in general".
The regulation contains general provisions applicable to infant formula (including low birth weight and pre-term infant foods), follow-on formula, processed cereal-based food and baby food, food for special medical purposes and food for special diets. It highlights the importance of breast feeding and prohibits the use on labels of infant and follow-on formula of pictures of infants that may idealise the use of this category of products. The regulation does not establish a (sub-)category for pre-term or low birth weight infants.
The text establishes that the labelling, presentation and advertising of foods must not attribute properties to the products for the prevention, treatment or cure of human disease. In this connection, the compromise assures that, to prevent circumvention of the rules and unfair commercial practices by food industry operators, only foods that replace the total daily diet come within the scope of the regulation. Diet...