Sweden takes the European Commission to the Court of Justice of the EU over endocrine disruptors.

  • The discussion over the establishment of science-based criteria for endocrine disruptors is ongoing in the EU. The European Commission is obliged under the biocide legislation and the plant protection products legislation to establish such criteria. The deadline for establishing said criteria under the biocide legislation (Article 5(3) of Regulation (EU) No 528/2012) expired on December 13th 2013. For that reason, Sweden had already decided in 2014 to take the European Commission to the Court of the EU for inaction.
  • In its application for a judgment, Sweden explained that it had asked the Commission to take action with regard to endocrine disruptors’ criteria. The European Commission is currently working on the issue. It conducted a public consultation and established an Endocrine Disrupters Expert Advisory Group that concluded its work in 2013. The legislation however has not yet been issued. The European Commission explained to the Members of the European Parliament (debate 9 March 2015) that the views on endocrine disruptors vary among scientists. For that reason, and because of the complexity of the issues, the European Commission is launching a scientific impact assessment on the subject.  In the meantime the Nordic Council of Ministers (a forum for the cooperation of ministers of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) issued a report on the costs of the European Commission’s inaction with regard to endocrine disruptors.  On that basis Sweden decided to take the European Commission to the Court of Justice of the EU. According to recent press releases the Council of the EU and Denmark will support Sweden before the Court.
  • The definition of criteria for endocrine disruptors is an important issue for many stakeholders and involves much discussion. The European Commission expresses its full awareness of that fact, but underlines the lack of scientific consensus over the topic. The actions taken by the European Commission and the Court of Justice will be significant for the industry.

The European Parliament calls for calorie labeling of alcoholic beverages.

  • Nutrition labeling of alcoholic beverages with an alcohol content over 1,2 % is not mandatory in the EU under the labeling legislation (Regulation 1169/2011/EU). The same legislation requires that the European Commission adopts a report addressing whether alcoholic beverages should in future be covered by the requirement to provide information on the energy value. This report was due by December 13th 2014 and has never been published. The European Parliament in its resolution adopted March 31st, 2015 called for the Commission to adopt rules for calorie labeling of alcoholic beverages.
  • The topic of calorie labeling of alcoholic beverages is being discussed in the EU. The beer industry stated that in the absence of the European Commission’s report, it would provide the list of ingredients and the nutrition labeling of alcoholic beer on a voluntary basis. Also, the industry supported the European Parliament’s resolution adopted on March 31st, 2015 where the Parliament called for the calorie labeling of alcoholic beverages. The resolution was adopted by the Parliamentary Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety. In the second half of April the resolution will be presented and voted on during the Plenary Session of the European Parliament. Also, on April 27th 2015 the Commission will respond to aParliamentary question on the matter.
  • The calorie labeling of alcoholic beverages is one of the implementing issues posed by the labeling legislation of the EU. The European Commission stated that it would not take much action with regard to the implementation of that particular labeling legislation in the near future. The industry and the European Parliament do not seem to be in favor of this position and opt for Commission action.