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December 12, 2014

EU Requirement to List Engineered Nanomaterials in Food Labeling Will Take Effect December 13

Lynn L. Bergeson

The European Commission (EC) issued a December 11, 2014, press release concerning European Union (EU) food labeling requirements that will take effect December 13, 2014.  The European Parliament and the Council adopted the requirements in 2011.  The requirements are intended to ensure that consumers receive clearer, more comprehensive, and accurate information on food content, and help them make informed choices about what they eat.  Under the requirements, all ingredients present in the form of engineered nanomaterials must be clearly indicated in the list of ingredients.  The names of such ingredients must be followed by the word “nano” in brackets.  According to the EC, food business operators have had three years “to ensure a smooth transition towards the new labelling regime for prepacked and non-prepacked foods.”  In addition, the regulation “provides for exhaustion of stocks for foods placed on the market or labelled before 13 December 2014.”  The EC states that work is underway to develop an EU database to facilitate the identification of all EU and national mandatory labeling rules in a simple way.  The work for the creation of the database should be carried out during 2015.