Legal

Denmark is getting to grips with fat tax legislation

Danish fat tax divides UK opinion

By Mike Stones

News that Denmark is to become the first country in the world to introduce a tax on foods with saturated fat, in a bid to foster healthy eating, has sharply divided British opinion.

Up to £24bn is tied up in late invoice payments

Late payment directive could cut business failures

By Freddie Dawson

A new EU directive to be implemented in the UK next year could free up more than an estimated £24bn held in outstanding late invoice payments, according to the Forum of Private Business (FPB)

EU adopts Food Information Regulation

EU adopts Food Information Regulation

By Anne Bruce

The long-awaited new EU Food Information Regulation (FIR) has moved one step closer to coming into force, after the European Council adopted it today.

Fish sustainability measures will lead to soaring prices

Fish prices may rise as EU imports fall

By Freddie Dawson

Fish prices are set to rise in the long-term as imports into Europe will be insufficient to ensure supplies, warned speakers at a conference held earlier this week to debate the future of UK fishing industry and the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

Company name change needs EU hygiene approval

Company name change needs EU hygiene approval

By Freddie Dawson

Food manufacturers that change their name must reapply for a new EU food hygiene legislation approval number from the end of next January, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has warned.

Nutrition body rejects fat tax

Nutrition body rejects fat tax

By Graham Holter

The British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) has joined the opposition to calls for a fat tax to curb the UK’s growing obesity crisis.

All in the net: But what about extra processing costs?

Fish discards ban to land whopping processing costs

By Freddie Dawson

Much higher processing costs will result if trawlermen are forced to land what they catch as part of radical reforms to the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), according to the pan-fishing industry body Seafish.

EDITOR'S COMMENT: The cost of alcohol-related illnesses, absenteeism and crime is, according to the PM’s Strategy Unit, 2003, around £20bn. But against that, research firm Keynote claims the UK alcoholic drinks industry achieved over £30bn in sales in 2001. It also generates jobs and boosts the economy, but risks criticism for indifference if it doesn’t consult on government policy and claims of undue influence if it does. Health groups should welcome its engagement and recognition that alcohol misuse undermines brands. Our desire for a tipple means the UK’s alcohol sea won’t dissipate overnight. Slamming the hatch on industry would see HMS ‘DH’ dive punch drunk for unfathomed regulatory depths. A boon for civil liberties, the economy and NHS?  Ben Bouckley is FoodManufacture.co.uk deputy online editor.

Government rejects alcohol policy concerns

By Ben Bouckley

The Department of Health (DH) has defended its approach to alcohol, after public health groups alleged that the drinks industry has an undue influence on government policy.

Bring on grocery code referee, urges select committee

Bring on grocery code referee, urges select committee

By Ben Bouckley

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) and the Food Ethics Council have welcomed a select committee report that endorses government proposals to introduce a Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA).

Takeaway the VAT?

Takeaway the VAT?

By Anne Bruce

A legal case in Germany has raised questions over the VAT regime in regard to takeaway food in the UK.

FSA Board rejects meat inspection proposal

FSA Board rejects meat inspection proposal

By Rick Pendrous

Proposals to examine a move to a privatised system of third-party inspection of primary meat premises were rejected by the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA’s) Board early last week.

Red tape challenge is 'red herring', say unions

Red tape challenge is 'red herring', say unions

By Rod Addy

Trade unions have criticised government efforts to address health and safety (H&S) red tape as a "sham", and say the coalition should focus more resources on evidence-based work via the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Desperate times: With EFSA rejecting clinical data en masse, Dr Glenn Gibson dons his magic, technicolour health claim dream labcoat in the hope of winning a claim. The NDA concludes causality has not been demonstrated between magic and dreamcoats

EU researchers revolted as EFSA clears health claims vault

By Shane Starling

The European Food Safety Authority last week delivered the fifth batch of article 13, general function health claim opinions bringing the total issued to 2723. There are just 35 to go – to be published next month in a final mini-batch that will conclude...

Meat processors call for risk-based approach to inspections

Meat processors call for risk-based approach to inspections

By Rick Pendrous

Primary meat processors are increasing pressure on the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to bring about a change to EU law that would allow a more risk-based approach to checking meat plants using private, accredited third-party inspectors.

'Facilitation payments' to foreign port officials, common in some countries, are outlawed by the Bribery Act

Bribery Act spells trouble for UK food exporters

By Ben Bouckley

A top lawyer has expressed concern that the UK's pending Bribery Act could lead to difficulties for food manufacturers exporting or producing abroad, especially to ‘high risk’ countries.

Marmite could be back on Danish shelves in three months...if Unilever applies for permission

Unilever on unauthorised Danish Marmite sales: “We are innocent”

By Shane Starling

Marmite, recently withdrawn from the Danish market after it became apparent the fortified, yeast breakfast spread did not possess a fortified food authorisation under the Scandinavian country’s strict laws, could be back on-market in three months, Danish...

FIR compromise cuts pressure on UK food firms

FIR compromise cuts pressure on UK food firms

By Ben Bouckley

A food law expert says he is surprised by a new compromise on the EU Food Information Regulation that removes the need for food firms to provide front-of-pack nutrient data, but warns that enhanced Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) could still raise...

Denmark puts the squeeze on Marmite? Not necessarily

Denmark: There is no Marmite ban

By Shane Starling

The Danish government has clarified that Marmite is not in fact banned, but merely in need of a marketing authorisation as per European Union health claim rules.

Expert slams 'politicised' nutrition and salt science

Expert slams 'politicised' nutrition and salt science

By Rod Addy

Nutrition is being politicised, with food authorities bowing to pressure from minority interests and lobbyists in areas such as salt reduction at significant risk to consumer health, according to one expert.

FSA recommends graded approach to meat inspection charges

FSA recommends graded approach to meat inspection charges

By Rick Pendrous

The Food Standards Agency’s (FSA’s) Board today responded to meat industry lobbying by agreeing to recommend that ministers adopt a “tapered” approach to the introduction of meat inspection charges.

Who’s afraid of the big bad grocery adjudicator?

Who’s afraid of the big bad grocery adjudicator?

By Ben Bouckley

BIS today published a draft bill to aimed at “giving teeth” to the groceries supply code that protects suppliers against excessive risks or unexpected costs in dealings with retailers, but the BRC has hit out at what it says is "ill judged"...

'Striking a Balance' Does DEFRA's task force report mark a new regulatory dawn or a missed opportunity?

DEFRA task force has failed fresh produce, FPC

By Ben Bouckley

The Fresh Produce Consortium (FPC) says that a prominent DEFRA task force appointed to cut red tape for farmers and food processors has ignored oppressive regulations facing its sector.

FDF worries grocery watchdog won't be on guard until 2013

FDF worries grocery watchdog won't be on guard until 2013

By Ben Bouckley

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) says news that the Groceries Code Adjudicator may not start work until mid-2013 will harm innovation in the sector amongst small and medium-sized companies and reduce consumer choice.

FIR is getting bogged down over labelling

COOL wrangles could derail Food Information Regulation

By Rod Addy

Increasing division over food labelling proposals has reignited fears that the entire process of updating the EU Food Information Regulation (FIR) could collapse, wasting years of work and substantial investment by industry.

Pension experts warn new law will increase red tape

Pension experts warn new law will increase red tape

By Freddie Dawson

New legislation coming into force next year, which requires companies to automatically enrol employees in pension schemes, could prove unfairly burdensome on small food companies that have a high staff turnover, pension experts have warned.

Europe gives toothy smile

Europe gives toothy smile

By Rod Addy

Ingredients suppliers have welcomed positive Article 13.1 health claim opinions from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for their products.

Challenge of responsibility

Challenge of responsibility

By Professor Judy Buttriss

Does the Responsibility Deal match the challenges ahead? Strong and enduring partnerships, including enhanced engagement of smaller businesses, will be key to maintained momentum with salt and trans fat reduction.