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Legislation on dietetic foods/Food for Specific Groups (FSG)

Current EU rules on foods for particular nutritional uses

The 'Framework Directive' - Directive 2009/39/EC - established general rules for Foods for particular nutritional uses (dietetic foods) aiming to:

  • Ensure product safety, suitability and appropriate consumer information.
  • Adopt specific directives for certain groups of such foods, if necessary.

What are foods for particular nutritional uses?

Foods for particular nutritional uses (dietetic foods) are specially manufactured to satisfy the particular nutritional requirements of specific groups of people. These could be:

  • Baby foods;
  • Foods for people suffering from gluten or lactose intolerance;
  • Foods for special medical purposes etc.

Current specific legislation for certain groups of foods

Notification

Dietetic foods other than those above must be notified to facilitate the official monitoring and marketing of innovative products.

Commission reports

New Regulation on Food for Specific Groups (FSG)

The Regulation (EU) No 609/2013 of the European Parliament and the Council on food intended for infants and young children, food for special medical purposes, and total diet replacement for weight control ('Food for Specific Groups') was adopted on 12 June 2013. It will apply from 20 July 2016 and aims to provide a better environment for businesses, better application of rules, and better protect consumers on the content and marketing of these "special" food products. The new Regulation will repeal Directive 2009/39/EC and abolish the current concept of dietetic foods.

What will the new Regulation 609/2013 on Food for Specific Groups (FSG) do?

  • Strengthen provisions on foods for vulnerable population groups that need particular protection e.g. infants and children up to 3 years old , overweight or obese people and people with specific medical conditions e.g. people with metabolism disorders;
  • Set general compositional and labelling rules for infant and follow-on formulae, processed cereal-based foods and other baby foods, foods for special medical purposes and total diet replacement for weight control;
  • Require the Commission to adopt through delegated acts specific compositional and labelling rules for
    • Infant and follow-on formulae;
    • Processed-cereal based foods and other baby foods;
    • Foods for special medical purposes and
    • Total diet replacement for weight control.
  • Replace the current 3 lists with a single Union list of substances that can be added to these foods including minerals and vitamins;
  • Require the Commission to transfer rules on gluten-free foods and very low gluten under Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on food information for consumers in order to ensure clarity and consistency;
  • Require the Commission to transfer rules and regulate meal replacement for weight control solely under Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 on nutrition and health claims in order to ensure legal certainty.

The new Regulation 609/2013 foresees that two reports should be prepared by the Commission:

  • On milk-based drinks (so called, growing-up milks) and similar products intended for young children in order to analyse the necessity to establish special compositional and labelling rules for this kind of products;
  • On food intended for sportspeople in order to analyse the necessity to establish special compositional and labelling rules.

Relevant documents

 
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