During the first quarter of 2017, the Italian government published two Decrees in the Official Gazette:
- Country of Origin labeling for milk and dairy products, in implementation of Regulation (EU) 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers.
- Fines for breaching the provisions of Regulation (EC) No. 1924/2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods.
Country of origin on labels for milk and dairy products
The first Decree, which was published on January 19, 2017, entered into force on April 19, 2017 and it will apply until March 31, 2019.
In this Decree, Indication of origin for milk and dairy products shall be indicated for the Italian manufacturer, which sell in Italy with the following statements:
“Milking country: name of the country”; “Production or Processing country: name of the country”; whereas these two conditions are practiced in the same country it may be used only: “Milk origin: Name of the country”.
If the processing or manufacturing are made in different countries, it could be also used: Milk Origin: EU countries” or “Milk origin: Extra-EU countries”.
The ‘protected designation of origin’ (PDO) and the ‘protected geographical indication’ (PGI) products are exempted from these rules.
This Decree followed also an opinion pool made by ISMEA agency, which confirmed the high interest on this topic by the Italian consumers.
Fines for Misusing Health and Nutritional Claims
The second Decree, which entered into force 1 April 2017, defines which sanctions should be applied when Regulation (EC) on nutritional and health claim are not respected:
Infractions and sanctions:
- Nutritional claim on alcoholic beverage with alcoholic strength >1.2% on the label from 3000 to 10000 €
- Health claim on alcoholic beverage with alcoholic strength >1.2% on the label from 5000 to 20000 €
- Nutrition and health claims which shall refer to the food ready for consumption in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions not provided from 2000 to 10000 €
- Nutrition labelling of products on which a nutrition and/or health claim is made shall be mandatory not provided from 2000 to 16000 €
- Nutritional claims not approved in the Annex list provided by Regulation (EC) 1924/2006 on the label from 3000 to 12000 €
- Comparative claims not approved in the Annex list provided by Regulation (EC) 1924/2006 on the label from 3000 to 12000 €
- Health claims on the label not authorized by Annex of Regulation (EC) 1924/2006 from 6000 to 24000 €
- Health claims on the label not respecting conditions set out for making it from 5000 to 40000 € depending on the gravity of the infractions
If a food manufacturer is recurring in the same infraction, the Authority could add to the fine also the temporary suspension of the activity licenses from 10 to 20 days.
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