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European Union: “Milk” Cannot Be Used to Market Purely Plant-Based Products

(June 27, 2017) On June 14, 2017, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) held that the term “milk” and other milk product names cannot, in principle, be used to designate a purely plant-based product even if clarifying or descriptive terms indicating the plant origin of the product concerned are used (e.g., tofu butter). The Court […]

United Nations: Agreement on Illegal Fishing

(July 22, 2016) In a July 1, 2016, statement, the Director-General of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), José Graziano da Silva, lauded an agreement on illegal fishing which, although concluded on November 22, 2009, just came into force on June 5, 2016. The Director-General stated that “[g]enerations to come will recognize the importance […]

Russia: Full Ban on Food with GMOs

(July 1, 2016) On June 29, 2016, the Federation Council of the Russian Federation Federal Assembly (the upper chamber of the legislature) adopted the Federal Law on Amending Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation in Regard to Improvement of State Control in the Field of Genetic Engineering. (Press Release, Federation Council, Ban on Growing and […]

Brazil: Decree Launches National Pact for Healthy Eating

(Nov. 10, 2015) On November 3, 2015, Brazil published Decree No. 8,353, which creates a National Pact for Healthy Eating (Pacto Nacional para Alimentação Saudável). The purpose of the Pact is to expand the supply, availability, and consumption of healthy foods and to combat overweight, obesity, and disease caused by a poor diet. (Decreto No. […]

Iceland/European Union: Reduction in Import Duties, Increase in Quotas for Agricultural Products

(Oct. 20, 2015) On September 17, 2015, Iceland’s government and the European Union agreed on new terms for agricultural trade. (Press Release, EU and Iceland Strike Deal to Protect Geographical Indications and Enhance Trade for Agricultural and Food Products (Sept. 18, 2015) EUROPA.) Under the new agreement, Iceland will reduce the tariffs on agricultural products […]

Finland: Tax on Chocolate and Sweets to Be Eliminated 2017

(Oct. 7, 2015) On September 29, 2015, a Finnish Financial Parliamentary Committee decided to end the tax on sweets that has been in force since 2011. The decision will take effect on January 1, 2017. (Press Release, Statsrådet [Finnish government], Punktskatten på sötsaker och glass slopas 2017 [Excise Duty on Sweets and Ice Cream Will […]

Russia: Ban Introduced on Use of GMOs in Food

(Oct. 6, 2015) On September 18, 2015, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Arkadii Dvorkovich, said at a business forum that Russia will not produce genetically modified food but that research on genetic modifications for medical and other purposes will continue. (Government Decided to Leave Russia Without Genetically Modified Products, NEWSRU.COM (Sept. 18, […]

Taiwan: New Food Safety Label

(July 7, 2015) On June 24, 2015, the industry group Taiwan Quality Food Association (Taiwan yu-liang shih-p’in fa-chan hsieh-hui or TQF) unveiled its logo for a new food safety accreditation system. The purpose of the new label and system is to emphasize the government’s renewed efforts to protect public health and to re-establish confidence in […]

Israel: New Law on Encouragement of Competition in the Food Sector

(May 30, 2014) On March 19, 2014, the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) passed the Law for Encouragement of Competitiveness in the Food Sector, 5774-2014. The Law’s stated objective is to increase competitiveness in the food sector and in the area of consumer products manufacturing in order to achieve a reduction in consumer prices. (Law for Encouragement […]

Iceland: Whale Meal Beer Ban Lifted

(Jan. 29, 2014) Iceland had temporarily banned the production and sale of beer made with whale bone meal. The West Iceland Public Health Authority had halted production, citing food production regulations; a complete, national prohibition was imposed on January 20, 2014. The companies that planned to make the beer, the brewery Steðji and the whaling company […]