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EU Court Says Plant-Based Products Cannot Have ’Dairy-Style’ Names

Vegan dairy-alternative products cannot be sold within the European Union [EU] under names including ‘milk’, ‘butter’ and ‘cheese’ following a landmark ruling by the European Court of Justice [ECJ]. The ruling follows a case involving German food company Tofu Town, referred by the German court.

The Trier court battle between Tofu Town and VSW (German consumer protection group) saw the two sides clash over whether or not the product labels contravened EU regulations, with Tofu Town arguing that because it always used terms like ‘milk’ in conjunction with words relating to the product’s plant-based origins (i.e. Tofu Butter), it did not.

In addition, it argued, the general public’s understanding of these food terms has changed considerably in recent years. The Trier court asked the ECJ to intervene, and it ruled against Tofu Town, asserting that names like ‘milk’ and ‘cheese’ could not be legally used to describe vegan products.

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EU:s smörlager har snart smält bort

Fettkonsumtionen har ökat kraftigt globalt under det senaste året och det har lett till att EU:s interventionslager av smör snart är borta. Det har lett till att priset stigit kraftigt, något som franska bagerier betecknar som en ”större kris”, skriver ATL.

Förklaringen till den ökade fettkonsumtionen är nya och delvis förändrade kostrekommendationer från läkare och dietister. Det tidigare förhatliga fettet har fått en ny aura av hälsa efter att ha förpassades till slaskhinken på 1950-talet. Då ansågs fettet vara orsaken till folks överviktsproblem. I dag har fokus i stället skiftats till att det kan vara ett alltför stort intag av kolhydrater som gör folk överviktiga.

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Mer ost till Japan

EU och Japan har träffat en politisk överenskommelse om att ingå ett frihandelsavtal, meddelsr EU:s handelskommissionär Cecilia Malmström.

Japans premiärminister Shinzo Abe besöker Bryssel på torsdagen och förväntas då formellt underteckna avtalet tillsammans med EU-kommissionens ordförande Jean-Claude Juncker och EU:s permanente rådsordförande Donald Tusk.

EU förväntas öppna sin inre marknad för den japanska fordonsindustrin, medan Japan i gengäld ska slopa införselskatten på ost och andra mejeriprodukter från unionen.

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Verdict: Purely plant-based products cannot be marketed with designations such as ‘milk’, ‘cream’, ‘butter’, ‘cheese’ or ‘yoghurt’, which are reserved by EU law for animal products

Court of Justice of the European Union’s verdict: Purely plant-based products cannot, in principle, be marketed with designations such as ‘milk’, ‘cream’, ‘butter’, ‘cheese’ or ‘yoghurt’, which are reserved by EU law for animal products.

In the judgment, the Court observes that, in principle, for the purposes of the marketing and advertising in question, the relevant legislation reserves the term ‘milk’ only for milk of animal origin. In addition, except where expressly provided, that legislation reserves designations like ‘cream’, ‘chantilly’, ‘butter’, ‘cheese’ and ‘yoghurt’ solely for milk products, that is products derived from milk.

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EU milk production expected to rise this year

Despite the fact that EU milk production for the first quarter of the year was 2% lower than the same period in 2016, the European Commission expects an overall increase of 0.6% this year compared to last year. Some of the major EU milk producing countries have had lower collections so far this year but the same can be said in South America, Australia and New Zealand.

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Open Letter Call for EU-wide nutrient profiles for nutrition and health claims

The letter is signed by The European Consumer Organization (BEUC), Danone, European Heart Network (EHN), European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), Nestlé, PepsiCo, The Coca-Cola Company and Unilever.

“The undersigned civil society and private sector organisations want to express their support for the urgent adoption of EU-wide nutrient profiles for nutrition and health claims. In the fight against obesity, the EU needs to take action where it has the competences”, the letter says.

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Portuguese milk gets EU authorisation for ‘own label’

Agriculture minister Capoulas Santos announces that Portugal has received EU authorisation to approve a new law that will make it obligatory for national dairy products to carry a special “produce of Portugal” label.

The only other country that has achieved similar authorisation is France, he said – and the idea behind the move is to show nationals where their best option lies, as “Portuguese milk is known for its excellent quality”.

New Use for Surplus Whey – Bioplastic Packaging for Cheese

Around 75 million tons of whey left over from cheese making is dumped every year in Europe, but that could be about to change as a new project led by Ainia goes live. The cheese industry as a whole could soon start to benefit from the new initiative called Wheypack which is all about turning surplus whey into PHB biodegradable packaging that can be tailored to the needs of specific products.

Food technology and production experts from Spanish companies Ainia, working in collaboration with Central Quesera Montesinos Aimplas and Embalnor in Portugal have achieved the first bioplastic material made from whey derived from cheese making – polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) is obtained by a fermentation bioprocess of whey.

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Mælk er for livet

En ny kampagne fokuserer på mælk som en naturlig og sund drik for mennesker gennem hele livet. Kampagnen ”Mælk er for livet” er et samarbejde mellem flere EU-lande (Frankrig, Belgien, Irland, Nordirland, Danmark) og er medfinansieret af EU, skriver Maelkeritidene. 
Den løber over en treårig periode, og formålet med kampagnen er at ændre opfattelsen af mælk som en drik udelukkende til børn. Ønsket er få mennesker i alle aldersgrupper til at se på mælk som en naturlig og positiv del af deres hverdag. Det er især i gruppen 20-29 årige, at antallet af mælkedrikkere falder mest, og voksne har en tendens til at overse mælken som et naturligt, ukompliceret valg blandt de øvrige drikkevarer. Følg kampagnen på www.facebook.com/maelkerforlivet/

SMP Intervention ceiling raised

New rules increasing the public intervention ceiling for Skimmed Milk Powder (SMP) from 218 000 tonnes to 350 000 tonnes formally have entered into force. This move follows a strong take-up of SMP intervention in response to the current market crisis, and follows on from the exceptional measures announced by the Commission at the March Agriculture Council.

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