EU labelling proposals are short-sighted, say supplement makers
The European Federation of Associations of Health Products Manufacturers (EHPM) has slammed the European Council proposal as a “a disproportionate burden” for food supplement and specialist health product manufacturers.
The proposal stipulates that food labelling font sizes must be at least 1.2mm or 0.9mm for packages with a total surface area smaller than 60cm squared.
“We cannot support such minimum font sizes,” said EHPM chairman Peter Van Doorn in a statement. “This issue should be dealt with through recommendations and guidelines that take into account sector specificities. Legibility is a complex question dependent on a number of factors, such as layout, colour and contrast and type of font.”
“In most cases – the most striking example being multivitamin food supplements – the food supplement sector would need to extend packages and containers in order to place all of the required elements on the label in a legible way. This size increase would be detrimental to the environment and contrary to our obligations under the EU packaging regulations.”
The Brussels-based group said the Council had not considered the multi-lingual nature of much European labelling which required more space on-label.
In addition, products like food supplements fall under a specific directive which requires additional mandatory labelling.
EHPM backed a European Parliament proposal for packages or containers with a printable surface area of less than 80cm2 to have a minimum font size of 0.9mm.
“Any general provision requiring a mandatory font size where the height is more than 1mm would be impossible to comply with for the majority of food supplement products,” said Van Doorn.
Further EU discussions are expected this month.