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April 25, 2018

European Parliament Approves New Law on Organic Production and Labeling of Organic Products

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

On April 19, 2018, the European Parliament (EP) approved a regulation on organic production and labeling of organic products.  Under the regulation, the production of processed organic food will be based on several specific principles, including the exclusion of food containing or consisting of engineered nanomaterials.  The regulation defines engineered nanomaterial as defined in the 2011 regulation on the provision of food information to consumers as amended in 2015 by the novel foods regulation.  According to the EP’s April 19, 2018, press release, one of the features of the regulation is to ensure the high quality of organic food through “strict, risk-based checks” that will take place along the supply chain.  In addition, imports will have to comply with European Union (EU) standards.  The press release states that the current “equivalence” rules, requiring non-EU countries to comply with similar but not identical standards, will be phased out within five years.  The Council of the EU must formally approve the text of the regulation before it can enter into force.  It shall apply beginning January 1, 2021.