The MEPs rejection of the proposal is expected to pave the way for the full 736-member European Parliament to give the list of 222 health claims related to foods the green light next week.
Pro-adoption advocates had argued that approval of the Article 13 health claims list would help harmonise the use of scientifically substantiated claims on foods across the EU and create a more equitable market in which food makers can compete and innovate.
The ENVI committee ballot took place early this morning, with the proposal to block the health claims list passing into law defeated by a majority of 15 votes – with 22 in favour of the veto, 37 against, and one abstention.
In a committee debate yesterday, several MEPs expressed support for the legislation, but noted concern over the administrative burden and approval processes. However, in this morning’s poll, the motion to veto the register was defeated.
Lisa McCooey, director of communications of the pan-European trade group, FoodDrinkEurope (FDE), expressed delight on behalf of industry that the veto was overturned.
“This marks a positive step in the final adoption of the list of approved EU-wide health claims for food operators to use across the EU market, providing legal certainty and a level playing field on which food manufacturers can compete to innovate their products in line with consumer needs," she told NutraIngredients.com
In the Committee debate, yesterday, the European People’s Party (EPP), the biggest group, had still not declared their position but this morning announced they would be supporting the blocking resolution.
EPP speaker Renate Sommer emphasised the decision to vote in favour of the veto was not directed against the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) but instead was signalling its criticism of the way the European Commission had implemented the 2006 regulation.