ec (17)

5017229654?profile=RESIZE_400xThe European Parliament and Council agreed to review and strengthen the existing marketing standards applicable to honey, fruit juices, jams and milk. The so-called Breakfast Directives lay down common rules on the composition, sales names, labelling and presentation of these products to ensure their free movement within the internal market and help consumers make informed choices.

The revised Directives agreed upon by the co-legislators will introduce the following changes:

  • Mandatory origin labelling for honey:  the countries of origin in honey blends will have to appear on the label in descending order with the percentage share of each origin. Member States will have the flexibility to require percentages for the four largest shares only when they account for more than 50% of the blend. The Commission is empowered by the co-legislators to introduce harmonised methods of analysis to detect honey adulteration with sugar, a uniform methodology to trace the origin of honey and criteria to ascertain that honey is not overheated when sold to the final consumer. A Platform will be set up to advise the Commission on those matters. This will limit fraudulent practices and increase the transparency of the food chain.
  • Innovation and market opportunities for fruit juices in line with new consumers demands: Three new categories will become available: ‘reduced-sugar fruit juice‘, ‘reduced-sugar fruit juice from concentrate‘ and ‘concentrated reduced-sugar fruit juice‘. This way consumers can choose a juice with at least 30% less sugars. It will be possible for fruit juices to indicate on their labels that “fruit juices contain only naturally occurring sugars” to clarify that, contrary to fruit nectars, fruit juices cannot by definition contain added sugars – a feature that most of the consumers are not aware of.
  • Higher mandatory fruit content in jams: an increase of the minimum fruit content in jams (from 350 to 450 grams per kilo) and in extra-jams (from 450 to 500 grams per kilo) will improve the minimum quality and reduce the sugar content of these products for EU consumers. Member States will be allowed to authorise the term ‘marmalade' as a synonym of ‘jam', to take into account of the name commonly used locally for these products. The term “marmalade” was authorised until now only for citrus jams.
  • Simplified labelling for milk: the distinction between ‘evaporated' and ‘condensed' milk will be removed, in line with the Codex Alimentarius standard. Lactose-free dehydrated milk will also be authorised.

The political agreement reached by the European Parliament, Council and Commission is now subject to formal approval by the co-legislators. From entry into force 20 days after publication of the final text, Member States will have 18 months to transpose the new provisions into national law and 6 more months before it applies throughout the European Union.

Read full press release.

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12368336463?profile=RESIZE_400xThe European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) has published guidance on the selection and use of DNA extraction methods.

Extracting DNA of suitable quality and quantity from a test sample is a fundamental upstream step that underpins the confidence in a number of downstream analytical molecular biology based methods (e.g., qPCR. dPCR, NGS, etc.,).

This official guidance document provides advice on the selection and use of fit for purpose DNA extraction methods. Whilst this guidance uses the example of DNA extraction in the context of official controls for the analysis of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), the principles it describes are universally applicable to all DNA based methods including those for food authenticity.

Advice is provided on the selection of different protocols and decision support systems, and guidance provided on validation approaches and the assessment of DNA quality parameters, further illustrated with practical examples/solutions based on extensive collective experiences.

Access guidance: DOI: 10.2760/76162 (online)

This guidance has also been added to the Quality section of this website.

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12365337854?profile=RESIZE_584xThe Food Integrity Unit of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), is looking for laboratories with expertise in beeswax analyses, interested in participating in a method validation study by inter-laboratory comparison according to ISO 5725-2.                                                                
The goal is to evaluate repeatability and reproducibility of the gas chromatography based analytical method for quantifying paraffin n-alkanes respectively stearin/stearic acid in beeswax with the aim to identify potential adulteration of beeswax.                                                                                         
The participants will receive a set of beeswax test samples, the detailed analytical protocol of the method, and the necessary consumables, free of charge.                                                                   
If you interested in being part of this important project that will lead to the future standardisation of the method by an international standardisation organization, please contact: 

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JRC Food Fraud Report - July 2023


Thanks again to FAN member Bruno Sechet of Integralim (  who has formatted the JRC monthly food fraud report as this pictorial infographic. 

The original report, along with those from previous months, can be found here

Remember that you can sign up on the JRC website to be notified when each report is published. 

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11021365458?profile=RESIZE_710xLabelling can help consumers make informed, healthy and sustainable food choices.

The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) publishes the results of a scientific study related to food information to consumers on origin labelling.

The European Commission will use the findings of these studies as input for a proposal to revise the EU rules on the information provided to consumers as part of the EU’s ‘Farm-to-Fork’ Strategy and Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan.

The scientists reviewed the literature on the impact of origin information of food products on purchase decisions and consumption. They looked into how and why consumers use, understand, and are influenced by origin information, coming to the following conclusions:

  • Information about both country of origin and place or region of origin has a substantial influence on consumers’ food choices.
  • Consumers attach importance to origin information as:
    1. a cue to good quality and environmentally friendly products;
    2. on average they like to support their local or domestic farmers and food industry.
  • Consumers report (in surveys) that they attach importance to origin information. However, when actually shopping, they may focus less on origin information than they would like to (because of time pressure, the attractiveness of brands etc.).

Read the full report: Consumer understanding of origin labelling on food packaging and its impact on consumer product evaluation and choices: A systematic literature review.


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This Technical Report presents challenges, opportunities and good practice examples in relation to the implementation of Article 9(2) of Regulation (EU) 2017/625 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2017 on official controls and other official activities performed to ensure the application of food and feed law, rules on animal health and welfare, plant health and plant protection products.

Competent authorities of the Member States are required to not only detect violations of the rules governing the agri-food chain but also to identify possible intentional violations of those rules, perpetrated through fraudulent or deceptive practices by operators for the purpose of gaining an undue advantage.

Between 2020 and 2022 a series of pilot and fact-finding studies of eight Member States were carried out with the aim to identify good practice examples and challenges Member State authorities face with the implementation of fraud related controls. The results of these fact-finding studies form the basis of this report. The reports of the six fact findings studies have also been published:

The report states that as fraud is driven by opportunity and motivation, detecting fraud requires good knowledge about the sector, the fraud risks and the way fraudsters operate. 

The report advocates a risk-based approach based on a vulnerability assessment. The best approach to risk-based planning will differ between authorities, control areas and Member States, but the risk-based planning should be based on a vulnerability assessment. A fraud risk assessment should be tailored to the control areas for which the competent authority is responsible. The report acknowledges that a one-size-fits-all solution across all sectors does not exist and provides key considerations for undertaking vulnerability assessments.

Furthermore, the use of mechanisms for the exchange of information between competent authorities on suspicions of fraudulent practices and criminal investigations (fraud part of iRASFF, Secure Information Exchange Network Application - SIENA, etc.) is crucial.

The purpose of this technical report therefore is to promote the uniform interpretation and application of the provisions of Article 9(2) of Regulation (EU) 2017/625


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EC JRC Food Fraud Report August 2022


JRC has published its monthly summary on articles covering food fraud and adulteration. In this issue, there are articles on frauds involving:

  • olive oil
  • molasses and sugar
  • fruits, vegetables
  • soy, seafood
  • meat
  • alcoholic beverages and wine
  • cereals
  • milk
  • cheese
  • tea
  • sauces
  • fruit juices.

Read the full summary at: August 2022 JRC Food Fraud Summary


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JRC Food Fraud Summary November 2021


The European Commission Joint Research Center (JRC) has published its monthly summary on articles covering food fraud and adulteration. In this November issue, there are articles on frauds involving wine, alcoholic beverages, milk and milk products, herbs and spices, cereals, meat products, seafood, cocoa, tea, fruits and vegetables, oils and honey.

Read the full summary of articles at:

Many thanks to our Members Riccardo Siligato PhD LLM (for producing the report) and Bruno Sechet (for producing the infographic).

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9850054881?profile=originalThe anticipated failure of many countries to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 necessitates the assessment of science–policy engagement mechanisms for food systems transformation. 

A High Level Expert Group (EG) of the European Commission explore options for enhancing existing partnerships, mandates and resources — or reimagining a new mission — for science–policy interfaces in this paper.

The science policy interfaces (SPI) options presented in this paper provide a potential framework to promote consensus around ways to achieve independent scientific interaction with policy needs at different scales. Establishing more effective food systems SPIs will require financial and political capital and time-defined dialogues that go beyond cooperation among existing SPIs to include other actors (including national and regional governments, the private sector and NGOs). These dialogues should be shaped by openness, inclusivity, transparency, scientific independence and institutional legitimacy.

The UN Food Systems Summit held in September 2021 provided some space for this discussion, which should be furthered during the UN Climate Change Conference in the UK (COP26) and Nutrition for Growth in Tokyo. The global community must seize on this historic moment to formulate commitments that enhance SPIs and that concretely help them to support the urgently needed transformation of our food systems.

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The European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) has published its May 2021 Food Fraud Monthly Summary reporting food fraud incidents and investigations from around the world.

Food fraud cases reported in May:

  • Honey
  • Royal jelly
  • Herbs
  • Spices
  • Fish
  • Fish products
  • Bivalve molluscs and products thereof
  • Fats
  • Oils
  • Meat
  • Meat products
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Fish
  • Fish products
  • Fruit
  • Vegetables, and other.


Thanks again to our Member Bruno Séchet for creating this infographic and allowing us to share it with the rest of the Network.

You can download the April 2021 Summary here
























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The Joint Research Center (JRC) of the European Commission has published its Monthly Food Fraud Summary for November 2020.

Thanks again to our Member Bruno Séchet for creating this fantastic infographic and allowing us to share with the rest of the Network 😁.

Access JRC Monthly Food Fraud Reports

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Genome editing techniques that modify the DNA of plants do not pose more hazards than conventional breeding or techniques that introduce new DNA into a plant, an EFSA assessment concludes.

The scientific opinion focuses on plants produced using different genome editing techniques: site-directed nuclease-1 (SDN-1), site-directed nuclease-2 techniques (SDN-2) and oligonucleotide-directed mutagenesis (ODM). These differ from site-directed nucleases-3 (SDN-3), which was assessed by EFSA in 2012, because they modify a specific region of the genome without introducing new DNA.

Experts concluded that the existing guidance for risk assessment of genetically modified plants is applicable for the evaluation of the three new techniques. However, fewer data for the risk assessment might be needed due to the absence of new DNA.

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The European Council has adopted conclusions on further steps to improve ways of tackling and deterring fraudulent practices in the agro-food chain.

In its conclusions the Council recalls that a high level of protection is an overall objective of EU policies concerning health, safety, environmental protection and consumer protection, and recognises that the current EU legal framework on tackling food fraud is adequate.

The Council nonetheless emphasises the need for continuous and improved cross-sectorial cooperation to fight against food fraud. This cooperation should include not only food and feed control authorities, but also authorities involved in the fight against financial crime and tax, customs, police, prosecution and other law enforcement authorities. In relation to this, the Council calls upon the Commission and member states to allocate adequate resources to ensure effective implementation of existing EU legislation by improving the shared understanding of the criteria determining food fraud.

3859201797?profile=RESIZE_710xThe Council also stresses the need to promote awareness-raising among consumers and to continue to broaden training on countering food-fraud.

Read text of conclusions.text of conclusions

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On 11 August, the environmental protection service of the Spanish civil guard SEPRONA announced the seizure of 45 tons of illegally treated tuna fish. Four people were investigated and face possible criminal penalties of up to four years in prison for endangering public health, as well as administrative sanctions. The investigation has so far uncovered three companies and three fishing vessels involved in the fraudulent scheme.

Investigators found that frozen tuna only suitable for canning had been illegally treated with substances that enhance the colour and then been diverted to the market to be sold as fresh fish. This treatment can pose a serious public health risk associated with allergic reactions to histamine.

The investigation was coordinated by EUROPOL under the OPSON VII operation, in collaboration with the European Commission and other Member States, which was previously reported on the Food Authenticity Network in May 2018.

Criminal investigations are ongoing.

For more information on this case including the European Commission's contribution and information on other successful outcomes for EU coordinated cases.

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