The Campaign comments on the new Food Information Regulation

The Campaign comments on the new Food Information Regulation

  • 20 July 2015
  • News

The Anaphylaxis Campaign’s CEO, Lynne Regent, attended the Food Standards Agency (FSA) Board meeting on the 22 January 2013, covering the new European Food Information for Consumers Regulation (FIC) as part of the agenda.

After the meeting, there was a session where individuals from outside the FSA were given the opportunity to ask the Board questions. Lynne commented on the removal of allergen boxes as a requirement of the regulation, making a plea to the Board for clear communication of this information to allergic consumers.  The Anaphylaxis Campaign are aware that it is unlikely consumers would be aware of these changes and may assume that the lack of the boxes means there are no allergens in the product. Lynne welcomed the idea of an on-pack statement signposting consumers to the allergens highlighted in the ingredients but called for consistency and clarity in the way this idea is adopted by the food industry.

The Campaign has also responded to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' (Defra) invitation for views on the Government’s plans to introduce legislation, in the form of a Statutory Instrument (SI) bringing into force the provisions of the new Regulation.

The main points of the Anaphylaxis Campaign’s submission were:

  1. The Anaphylaxis Campaign wholeheartedly supports the requirement of the FIR to provide information on major allergens for foods sold loose.
  1. The highlighting of allergens in the ingredient list of pre-packaged foods is a positive measure but there must be consistency among food companies in the way this highlighting is carried out.
  1. The requirement to remove additional allergen information such as “allergen boxes” from packaging must be accompanied by an awareness campaign to ensure that people with food allergies are aware of this measure. Otherwise, they could face serious risks.
  1. Any measures to make “precautionary labelling” a legal requirement could have a positive impact for people with food allergies, but food companies must be required to make decisions on applying precautionary labelling only after there has been a thorough risk assessment exercise; furthermore any legal changes in this area should only be implemented once threshold levels for food allergens

The Campaign will also be responding to similar requests for comment on the adoption of the Regulation in Northern Ireland,Wales and Scotland.