News story

Consultation on the regulation of foods intended for infants and young children

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The European Commission, as part of its on-going programme of simplification and reducing legislative burden, is reviewing the current framework directive on PARNUT foods or dietetic foods (Directive 2009/30/EC).

PARNUT foods are specially manufactured to satisfy the particular nutritional requirements of specific groups of the population and currently include:

  • infant and follow-on formulae
  • foods for infants and young children up to three years of age
  • medical foods (eg. nutritional tube feeds as total dietary replacement for patients)
  • slimming foods
  • foods for people intolerant to gluten
  • other foods which companies currently provide notification to member states (e.g. lactose free foods)

The proposal is likely to have a significant impact on the way in which PARNUT foods are notified, labelled and regulated. It limits the definition of PARNUT foods to three essential categories - infant and follow-on formula, foods intended for infants and young children aged up to three years and medical foods.

Gluten-free, slimming foods and other PARNUT foods currently notified to member states are  not likely to be covered by this proposed legislation but are expected to be covered under other existing EC legislation (e.g. Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation).

The consultation will inform forthcoming negotiations with the Commission. Views are particularly welcome from interested parties, industry and NGOs who currently manufacture such foods or represent consumers who rely on such foods for part or the whole of their diet.

View the Commission proposal and impact assessment, the consultation document and download a response form.

This consultation closed on 30 September 2011