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Food industry makes official complaint against Italy over country-of-origin labelling

This article is powered by EU Food Law

The food industry association, FoodDrinkEurope, has made an official complaint to the European Commission over Italy’s enactment of laws on origin labelling. The association alleges that Italy's national laws are against EU law and wants them repealed.

Italy has passed legislation this year which require the mandatory country-of-origin labelling (COOL) of durum wheat in pasta, rice and tomatoes in tomato products. The legislation is similar to COOL legislation passed by the likes of France but Italy did not inform the European Commission of its intentions, as required by law.

FoodDrinkEurope, which is opposed to national COOL measures because it says they threaten the cohesion of the EU market, has filed a complaint.

“Following the recent adoption, by Italy, of decrees on mandatory country-of-origin labelling, as well as the country’s rules on the mandatory indication of the place of production, FoodDrinkEurope has proceeded today with the filing of an official complaint to the European Commission,” the association said in a statement.

“As the Italian government adopted these measures without prior notification to the EU, and given that their compliance with EU law is questioned, FoodDrinkEurope views its complaint as the only way forward to ensure EU Single Market rules are respected.”

National measures on mandatory origin labelling have recently introduced by eight Member States and FoodDrinknEurope claims they are already negatively impacting trade of food products in the EU.

The association said it viewed the “trend to re-nationalise certain rules and policies” in the food and drink sector with concern, noting that “25 years of an EU Single Market have brought significant benefits to both producers and consumers.”


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