The cereal regulators sitting in the European Parliament have voted in favour of tighter restrictions on breakfast foodstuffs.
Stylised as the “breakfast directives” within the Parliament, politicians voted in favour of tightened rules regarding various agricultural products such as honey, fruit juice, jam, jellies and marmalades.
According to the position adopted by the Parliament, breakfast products should fall under stricter labelling regulations. Politicians are calling for the mandatory detailing of sugar content, as well as the country of origin of the fruit used in a product.
The proposed rules would also allow fruit drinks processed to contain less sugar to be advertised as “reduced-sugar fruit juice”. MEPs also voted in favour of allowing juices to use the label “contains only naturally occurring sugars” if they meet Brussels’ requirements.
Politicians did emphasise that fruit products which have less sugar must not then contain sweeteners to compensate, although they failed to explain why in their approved version of the directive.
MEPs also backed the implementation of extra restrictions on honey, with politicians calling for a “traceability system” to ensure that such produce originates from where the label claims it does and that it is not diluted with lower-quality substances, like sugar syrups.
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Speaking on the vote, rapporteur Alexander Bernhuber MEP said the new restrictions would help Europeans make healthier decisions at breakfast time and support products that are locally sourced.
He also said that the restrictions would help stamp out “fraudulent practices” surrounding honey products.
“This, together with other measures, will protect consumers and beekeepers from adulterated honey and facilitate informed consumer choices through more transparency,” he added.
Berhuber was not the only politician enthusiastic about the new breakfast-time regulations, with the honey crackdown in particular stirring many in the Parliament.
France’s Pascal Canfin expressed delight at the new restrictions. The Macronist politician emphasised that the new restrictions would help protect the EU single market.
“Our text will prevent honeys that are not honeys … from entering the European market,” the RENEW member said.
“This will put an end to unfair competition with our beekeepers.”
Such honey restrictions are an attempt to retaliate against low-quality imports from the likes of China and Turkey.
Politicians have expressed concern that foreign producers are using water or sugary syrups to dilute their hone, lowering the cost of its production – and its quality and purity.
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