The current legislation - Commission Regulation (EC) No 41/2009 - lays down harmonised rules on the content and labelling of foodstuffs suitable for people intolerant to gluten.
This legislation sets out the conditions under which foods may be labelled as "gluten-free" or "very-low gluten". The purpose is to ensure the health and safety of European consumers across the EU and remove unnecessary barriers to trade.
What will the new Regulation on Food for Specific Groups do for foods for people intolerant for gluten?
The new Regulation (EU) No 609/2013 repeals Regulation (EC) No 41/2009 from 20 July 2016 onwards and requires the Commission to transfer its rules under the framework of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers.
Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 already includes rules requiring the mandatory labelling for all foods of ingredients such as gluten-containing ingredients, with a scientifically proven allergenic or intolerance effect. In order to ensure clarity and consistency, the FSG Regulation foresees that all the rules applying to gluten should be set by the same piece of legislation and, for this reason, established that Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 should also be the framework for the rules related to information on the absence of gluten in food.
In order to comply with the requirements of the FSG Regulation, the Commission:
- first amended Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 through Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1155/2013 (this allowed the Commission to lay down rules on the matter) and;
- subsequently, adopted Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 828/2014 which lays down the specific requirements for the provision of information to consumers on the absence or reduced presence of gluten in food.
Regulation (EU) No 828/2014 will not change the substantial rules for using the "gluten free" and "very low gluten" statements. However, the new rules will apply also to non pre-packed foods such as those served in restaurants (out of the scope of the existing rules). In addition, the new Regulation will also clarify how operators can inform gluten-intolerant consumers of the difference between foods that are naturally free of gluten and products that are specially formulated for them.