GMOs in Italy
The Regional Administrative Court of Lazio clarifies the concept of “emergency situation” that allows Member States to ban GMOs already authorized at EU level
On 23 April 2014 the Regional Administrative Court of Lazio (hereafter TAR Lazio) ruled that a Member State may prohibit the cultivation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), although they have been authorized at European level, when the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has changed its original positive opinion and - meantime - the European Commission has not amended or suspended its authorization. Specifically, the TAR Lazio highlighted that the “emergency situation” and the precautionary principle, which allow Member States to take distances from the EU authorization system, shall be respected even when such National derogation has been adopted to resolve a procedural stalemate at European level, which prevents the adoption of a European legislation based on the most recent scientific findings of EFSA.
This judgment has been released in a particular moment for the GMOs European regulatory framework, increasing Member States' choice to restrict or prohibit the cultivation of GMO's on their territory.
In its judgment of the 23 April 2014 the Tar Lazio clarified the compulsory conditions that Member States must fulfil in order to introduce temporary bans on genetically modified organisms, already authorized at European level. The dispute stems from a decree, adopted on 12 July 2013 by the Minister of Health, together with the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry and the Minister of Environment, which - on the basis of an “emergency situation” - prohibited the cultivation and sale of the biotech corn MON 810. The owner of a farm cultivating this kind of corn challenged the decree.
The TAR Lazio held that, on the basis of the principles already established by the Court of Justice of the European Union in case C-36/11, Pioneer Hi Bred Italy (paragraphs 69, 70 and 71), a Member State cannot autonomously ban the cultivation of GMOs, for health or environmental reasons, if they are already authorized in the Regulation (EC) No. 1829/2003, and reported in the list of the Council Directive 2002/56/EC.
However this legal framework provides some exceptions, as the one in Article 34 of Regulation (EC) No. 1829/2003, which states that in the context of emergency measures, an authorization can be modified or suspended, in case of serious risks for human and animal health, and for the environment, as long as Member States comply with the disclosure requirements of Article 53 and 54 of the Regulation. Also, it is required that the adopted measures shall be provisional. This exception was the legal basis for the adoption of the contested decree.
The TAR Lazio correctly noted that the emergency measures, together with the safeguard clauses of Article 23 of the Council Directive 2002/56/EC, are the only two cases that can justify an exception in that matter. In particular, according to TAR Lazio, the condition of “serious risk” (as analysed in case C-236/01, Monsanto Agriculture Italy SpA, paragraphs 106 and 107) shall be interpreted as a risk that lays down new elements based on consistent scientific data. Consequently, the judge excludes that these extraordinary measures can be adopted on the basis of hypothetical risks, based on mere suppositions that are not yet scientifically verified. In this regards, it is noted that Member States can take the interim safeguard and preventive measures whether the risk is assessed and completely demonstrated.
Hence, on the basis of the criteria offered by the Court of the EU, the TAR Lazio pointed out that a procedural stalemate at European level may legitimize Member States in adopting specific waivers, providing that there are real risks for human and animal health, and for the environment.
The TAR Lazio considered that the contested decree of the Italian government was in line with the precautionary principle, which legitimizes the protective measures, suspending also authorizations, when there is uncertainty on risks for human health. Such protective measures are allowed until the risks are fully demonstrated. In this sense, the judge concluded noting that a Member State may suspend or modify an authorization of cultivation and sale, even when the EFSA, changing the first assessment, reveals, on the basis of new scientific data, alarming aspects for human and animal health, and for the environment. This is rightly allowed although the Commission has not yet taken specific action in light of the raised concerns.
Indeed, this judgment has been released in a particular moment for the GMOs regulatory framework, increasing Member States' choice to restrict or prohibit the cultivation of GMO's on their territory. In fact, during the Council of the European Union of 12 June 2014, the Ministers of Environment have reached a political agreement on amendments of the Directive 2001/18/EC on the deliberate release into the environment of genetically modified organisms.
As a consequence Member States will better take into account their National context when deciding on GMOs cultivation. Those amendments also secure a Member State's legitimate right to adjust its decision to restrict or ban cultivation during the 10 years GM authorisation period, if new objective circumstances arise
Lawyer- Michela Velardo – Bruxelles
INTERNET: THE NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS APP INTEGRATORI “GETS FIT AGAIN”
It is now available the update of the nutritional supplements app Integratori released by UNC (Unione Nazionale Consumatori – National Consumers Union) in collaboration with AIIPA (Associazione Italiana Industrie Prodotti Alimentari – Italian Association of Food Industries). Thanks to this new App version it is possible to go on getting fit respecting your own health and well-being.
Massimiliano Dona, secretary of UNC, invites consumers to do the update that offers many new tools and useful tips to get fit, especially during the summer period.
In the section “Sei in forma?” (“Are you fit?”) was added the “Calcolo dispendio energetico” (“Energy Consumption Calculation”) that measures the number of calories burned according to your weight and how much physical activity you do.
Moreove,r was introduced a new test named “il vero e il falso sul bilancio energetico” (“the true and the untrue on the energetic balance”) to understand if the consumer is well informed about the energy balance.
It is also available among the tips “Schermi alimentari” (“Food Shields”) that suggests some examples of diets according to how many calories you want to feed.
This update is part of AIIPA’s commitment for a correct information in nutritional supplements, such as the website www.integratoriebenessere.it where it is possible to find more information about the nutritional supplements’ world.
ENZYMOTEC LTD. REPORTS COMMERCIAL INTRODUCTION OF ITS INNOVATIVE OMEGA PC™ ADVANCED FISH OIL PRODUCT
Enzymotec Ltd. has announced the launch of Omega PC™, a new, premium fish oil-based omega-3 product. Omega PC™ is a wild, cold fish extract, containing omega-3 fatty acids bound to phospholipids (PL) and triglycerides (TG). The first commercial sale of this innovative product took place last week in preparation for customer launch. “We are very pleased with the launch of Omega PC™ and believe this will take us one step further towards creating a new golden standard for fish oil consumption” said Dr. Ariel Katz, President and Chief Executive Officer of Enzymotec Ltd. And added: “Our strategic partnership with Polar Omega enables two significant players in the global omega-3 market to create a product that will deliver new health benefits to consumers. We believe that this new advanced fish oil product should help drive growth in the Omega 3 fish oil market, which became stagnant due to commoditization and lack of innovation”. The company assures that the production of Omega PC™ follows the strictest sustainability protocols of the International Fishmeal and Fish Oil Organization (IFFO).
CAN ENZYMES ENSURE HEALTHIER PICNIC BASKETS THIS SUMMER?
Summer time is synonymous with outdoor eating and picnic spreads. The average picnic basket is crammed with convenience foods, but with the help of enzymatic processing these easy options do not necessarily need to be unhealthy. The global health and wellness packaged food and beverages market grew by 7 percent in 2013, with food intolerance products increasing by 8 percent and better-for-you products increasing by 5 percent. Enzymes can be used during the processing of foods within these segments to improve the health profile of the final products. “Consider some of the typical choices when packing a picnic” says Flemming Mark Christensen, Global Marketing Manager for Food & Nutrition at Novozymes: “You’ll usually choose some dairy products, whether it’s milk, cheese, or yoghurts, sandwiches that often contain some kind of processed meat, and of course the obligatory snacks and cookies. We’ve solutions that make dairy digestible for everyone, that reduce the salt content of processed meats, and that mitigate the formation of acrylamide in snacks”. Adding some nutritious dairy products to your picnic basket is a simple and speedy way to include an important source of protein, vitamins and minerals, in particular, calcium. But lactose intolerance is a common condition, particularly in Asia and Africa. Lactose-free products enable lactose intolerant consumers to benefit from all necessary nutrients available in milk. Novozymes’ lactase enzyme, Lactozym® Pure, effectively breaks down lactose into a mixture consisting primarily of glucose and galactose, which can be safely digested by virtually everyone.
IMMUNE SYSTEMS OF HEALTHY CHILDREN
RESULTS OF STUDY IN 310 CHILDREN PUBLISHED IN PEDIATRICS
A study demonstrating that a follow-up formula containing a combination of DHA, a prebiotic blend of PDX and GOS, and yeast β-glucan supported the immune systems of healthy three- and four-year-olds was published in the June issue of Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Children who consumed the follow-up formula (FUF) designed for this study by Mead Johnson Nutrition had fewer episodes and shorter duration of acute respiratory infections (P = .007) than children consuming an unfortified cow’s milk-based beverage. They also required fewer antibiotic treatments (P = .01) and missed fewer days of day care due to illness, the study found. In addition, the FUF group had both higher interleukin-10 and white blood cell (WBC) counts at the end of the study, suggesting an anti-inflammatory mechanism and/or an increase of effector immune cells (WBC counts remained in the normal range). In a double-blind, randomized, controlled, prospective trial, 3-4 year old children were fed 3 servings per day of either a FUF containing 25 mg DHA, 1.2 g PDX/GOS, and 8.7 mg yeast β-glucan (Wellmune WGP®) per serving or an unfortified, cow’s milk-based beverage (control) for 28 weeks. Fecal and blood samples were collected to assess immune markers and iron/zinc status. Incidence of acute respiratory infections, diarrheal disease, and antibiotic treatment were obtained from medical records.
POLARIS INGREDIENTS RECEIVE APPROVAL FOR SALE DELIVERED BY BRAZILIAN AUTHORITIES
POLARIS is expanding its international export business by obtaining the authorisation to sell its products onto Brazil’s nutraceutical market. With this authorisation, the company is consolidating its international growth strategy with the opening of new markets, such as Brazil, with its marine oils rich in Omega 3. The Brazilian ministry of agriculture “MAPA” (Ministério da Agricultura, Pecuària e Abastecimento) has given its positive opinion and therefore authorises the sale of natural and concentrated marine oils from Polaris’ Omegavie® range in Brazil. Already present on the French market with customers in the nutraceutical, food and animal health sectors, Polaris now wants to explore other markets. Polaris is reinforcing its presence in South America by appointing a distributor in Brazil. “BRIC countries, and especially Brazil, are on our radar as they are showing growth. Consumer habits in Brazil are similar to the ones in France: they are very targeted at beauty and health. Our ingredients have got their place on this market”, says Stéphane Lozachmeur, Polaris CEO. Thanks to its high-tech unit for the production, concentration and purification of marine oils rich in Omega 3, POLARIS will start selling in Brazil in the coming months.
FleetwoodGoldcoWyard has been presented with the 2013 KUKA System Partner of the Year Award at the Annual System’s Partner Summit in May. The teamwork of FleetwoodGoldcoWyard’s sales organization, engineering and electrical groups with the support of the KUKA organization assisted in achieving this award four of the last five years. Gary Muloski, Robotics Product Champion for FleetwoodGoldcoWyard commented: “The integration of robotics has really expanded our product line offerings to our customers and opened many new opportunities for us. We now offer a more flexible and innovative solution to our customers with robotic technology. We could not have done this without the tremendous sales and customer support we receive from KUKA Robotics. Thank you to everyone on the team that makes it all happen!” Jim Krapes, Case Palletizing and Robotics Leader for FleetwoodGoldcoWyard added: “It is an honour to receive this award from KUKA for the third straight year. It is a testament to the dedication and commitment from the FleetwoodGoldcoWyard and KUKA teams to provide our customers with the finest robotic technical solutions for their packaging requirements”. FleetwoodGoldcoWyard has supplied approximately 200 robotic systems worldwide which are either currently in operation or being manufactured. Installations include can end palletizers and accumulators, case and bag palletizers, depalletizers to unwrappers/debaggers.
THE CHOC-A-LIKE™ PRODUCT PORTFOLIO
Barry Callebaut presents Choc-a-like™, its extended range of compounds for professional bakers, ice cream manufacturers and chocolatiers. The Choc-a-like™ product portfolio offers different flavours of smart compound solutions that combine the sensation of delicious chocolate taste, easy workability and perfect food appeal. The extended technical flexibility of Choc-a-like™ products allows chocolate professionals to put their creative ideas into practice while increasing workability and minimizing production costs. Barry Callebaut's Choc-a-like™ product range allows food processing professionals to go beyond the technical limits of regular chocolate while retaining an authentic chocolate taste, look and feel. In some specific cases, for example the creation of pralines, the making of pastry products or adding coatings to ice cream, working with chocolate can be technically very challenging. Possible issues include fat blooming or very complex processing. The new Choc-a-like™ compounds offer the crack and shine of regular chocolate in a wide variety of textures for different mouth feel and taste experiences. Rapid cooling is possible as Choc-a-like™ compounds only require basic cooling methods: in most cases simply shock cooling is required. Sofie De Lathouwer, Marketing Director Western Europe for Barry Callebaut states: "Choc-a-like™ compound products give our customers a significant competitive edge thanks to a broad array of technical possibilities and flexibility. This way, Barry Callebaut continues to be a partner in chocolate solutions for food professionals".
ALLMA ARRIVES TO SHAKE UP THE MICROALGAE MARKET WITH PREMIUM SUN-GROWN CHLORELLA
A major new global player with a premium-quality proposition has entered the thriving market for microalgae ingredients suitable for use in food, beverage and dietary supplement products. Allma, based in Portugal, supplies natural, sun-grown Chlorella powder that is free from contaminants and rich in phytonutrients, proteins, vitamins and minerals – creating a wealth of opportunities for new product development. Allma’s Chlorella is grown at the state-of-the-art Algafarm production unit in Leiria, 100km north of Lisbon, in closed food-grade production systems, called photo-bioreactors. The photo-bioreactors are exposed to sunlight to encourage photosynthesis, mimicking the growth of microalgae as it occurs in nature. Sun-grown Chlorella is highly valued because it is exceptionally high in nutrients that develop naturally as a result of exposure to the sun. João Navalho, Director of Allma, said: “The market for microalgae ingredients is very buoyant but most of what is available today is sold as a commodity with very little focus on quality. Our Chlorella breaks the mould in the sense that while it is produced in the high volumes the industry requires, it is grown to be far superior in terms of nutrient content and purity. Our entry into this market is a significant development because, for the first time, companies will be able to access the very best microalgae ingredients in the quantities they require, at competitive prices and produced in accordance with demanding European food safety laws”. He continued: “Our mission is to take Chlorella to the next level in terms of its value as a food ingredient. We aim to be more than a company that sells Chlorella, but also a good partner that works closely with customers to find the perfect Chlorella solution for their products”.
NEW INGREDIENT COST-EFFECTIVELY LOWERS GLYCEMIC INDEX OF CARBOHYDRATE-RICH FORMULATIONS IN SUPPORT OF BLOOD SUGAR MANAGEMENT
PLT Health Solutions, Inc. and Horizon Science have announced the launch of Benecarb® Glycemic Balance Complex in North America. The ingredient, based on molasses phytonutrients, can reduce the glycemic impact of a broad range of everyday foods and beverages – with particular advantages in carbohydrate-rich formulations. High in natural antioxidants, minerals and polyphenols, Benecarb has been clinically shown to reduce the glycemic of index (GI) of foods and beverages by up to 20 percent at addition levels of 4-6 percent of total carbohydrate content. These low use levels correspond to a low impact on the organoleptic properties of food and beverage formulations and contribute to cost-effectiveness in use. Benecarb is a 100percent natural, clean-label liquid ingredient that can be added to existing formulations using existing processing equipment, with very little impact on food and beverage labelling. Use of Benecarb can support product claims of lower glycemic index, and consumer claims centered on support for blood sugar management and health.
RANGE OF CARAMEL ALTERNATIVES WITH NATURAL BROWN SHADES BY SENSIENT
Sensient Food Colors Europe has launched a comprehensive line of colours that provide a natural alternative to traditional caramel colours. Sensient’s dynamic range of natural brown shades for food and beverage applications includes plant-based products that are available as colouring foodstuffs complying with the new EU guidance notes on colouring food. One of the biggest challenges has been to produce rich natural brown shades for use in confectionery to meet the demanding product and processing conditions, such as in pan coatings and hard-boiled candies, explains Dr. Andreas Klingenberg, Technical Director, Sensient Colors Europe GmbH: “Sensient has developed the technologies and know-how to meet these processing and stability challenges, using natural components as building blocks to create high performance solutions”. Sensient’s new product range incorporates a variety of natural raw materials formulated for specific product applications. Sensient’s product line includes apple-based products offering several attractive brown shades particularly suitable for the beverage and confectionery industries. For dairy products, alternatives based on malt and burnt sugar are now available, and a range of oil soluble products are included for use in savoury and snack applications.
ADVANTAME APPROVED IN EUROPE
In a move that will make it easier for food and beverage companies to meet commitments to reduce calories and sugar, the European Commission has approved Advantame, the new, low calorie sweetener from Ajinomoto. Advantame is a new ingredient with a clean, sugar-like taste and can be used to reduce calories, while maintaining the excellent sweet taste that consumers expect. In the words of the Commission Regulation, Advantame "will provide manufacturers with greater flexibility in formulating energyreduced foods with a similar taste profile as the full-caloric equivalent". A spokesperson for Ajinomoto Co., Inc. said: "We welcome the approval of Advantame by the European Commission. Advantame blends well with sugar and other caloric sweeteners, providing food and beverage companies with an opportunity both to reduce calories and to manage sweetening costs". Advantame was approved for general use as a sweetener in foods and beverages by the US Food & Drug Administration on May 19. Advantame is also FEMA GRAS approved in the United States for use in frozen dairy applications, milk products, beverages and chewing gums. The ingredient has found success in North America and Asia in applications where it is used to enhance various flavours. Advantame also extends the duration of the sweet taste in confectionery. Ajinomoto continues: "The need to address the over-consumption of calories is self-evident, not just in Europe, but throughout the developed world. With the approval of Advantame, we can provide a unique, value-added ingredient to food and beverage companies”.
INDENA: ENOVITA® GETS GRAS ASSESSMENT
Indena has announced that its grape seed extract Enovita® obtained self-affirmed GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status for use as food ingredient in a number of food categories including beverages and beverage bases, breakfast cereals, fats and oils, frozen dairy desserts and mixes, grain products and pastas, milk – whole and skim – milk products, and processed fruits and fruit juices, at levels up to 291 mg per person per day. The safety assessment focused on the addition of the extract to a variety of conventional foods to function as an antioxidant and/or emulsifier. The safety profile of Enovita® is supported by broad-based documentation, including animal studies, metabolism studies, human experience, in vitro studies and refined chemical characterization. Enovita®’s production facility has been inspected by the Centre for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition of the FDA for compliance to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and ensures full traceability from grape harvest to the finished product.
DSM NUTRITIONAL PRODUCTS & ISOBIONICS
DSM Nutritional Products Ltd. - a division of Royal DSM N.V., the global life sciences and material sciences company - and the natural ingredients company Isobionics B.V. have announced an exclusive partnership to distribute Valencene and Nootkatone grades to the flavour and fragrances market. “The current supply chain of many natural compounds is unstable and characterized by high volatility regarding availability, quality and pricing. With our proprietary fermentation technology, which is similar to brewing beer, we create the stability and reliability of supply that the market expects. I am pleased with the worldwide distribution capabilities and know-how of DSM’s Aroma Ingredients Business and confident about the success of our cooperation” said Toine Janssen, CEO and founder of Isobionics. Arnold Gloor, Senior Director Aroma Ingredients of DSM Nutritional Products, commented: “We are pleased to extend our portfolio with exciting new aroma ingredients such as Valencene and Nootkatone, produced through an innovative fermentation technology by Isobionics to bring stability into the market place”.
COSUCRA: INVESTMENTS IN ENVIRONMENT
Cosucra’s mission is to make a contribution to safe and healthy food using the traditional wealth of locally grown vegetable crops. As a responsible company, they also strive to act as environmental-friendly as possible. Apart from investments in solar panels and a new anaerobic water purification system recently, Cosucra also set up an environmental management system at the chicory sites Warcoing Industrie and Socode in 2012. After an audit in March 2014, they now have obtained an ISO 14001 certification for both sites.
NEW ANTI-FOG CONCENTRATE FOR POLYPROPYLENE (PP) BY CRODA
Atmer 7373 by Croda is a unique anti-fog concentrate designed especially to deliver outstanding anti-fog performance in both hot and cold food packaging. Scientifically formulated for clear polypropylene films and containers, Atmer 7373 prevents droplet formation on plastic surfaces, keeping food looking fresher for longer. Polypropylene is extensively used in food packaging due to its excellent clarity and low temperature processing. In a crowded and ever competitive retail environment, food must look appealing to stand out from the competition. The unique formulation of Atmer 7373 effectively disperses water droplets on plastic surfaces in both hot and cold fog applications, making food packaging clearer and giving food a fresh appeal. Key benefits: -Excellent hot and cold anti-fog performance; -Food contact approved; -No observable effect on haze; -l Supplied as concentrate for easy dosing. Applications: -Salad and fruit display packaging; -Ready meal packaging; -Sandwich display packs; -Hot deli food packaging.
DUPONT: NEW TECHNICAL SERVICE CENTER
DuPont Nutrition & Health has opened a new technical service centre to support dairy manufacturers in the growing Eastern European market. Expanding the company’s global service network, the centre specializes in optimizing starter culture performance in fresh fermented dairy production. Yogurt and other fresh fermented dairy products are important drivers of the dairy market in Eastern Europe, where Euromonitor International forecasts value sales will grow 6 percent a year up to 2018. Located in Kiev, Ukraine, the technical service centre will focus primarily on issues related to bacteriophages. These viruses impact the acidification performance of yogurt starter cultures and are a common cause of production failures or product quality issues. The centre will also work with basic microbial analyses. “Efficient strategies against bacteriophage development are essential to ensure stable batch-to-batch production and premium quality products” says Dmitrij Shulmeister, Sales Director SAFI South-Eastern Europe & Balkans, DuPont Nutrition & Health and continued: “In addition to routine analyses of customers’ product samples, our application specialists can identify the optimum starter cultures for use in rotary combinations and provide prompt assistance when bacteriophage issues arise”. DuPont has similar technical service centres in place in France, China and the USA. The new centre in Kiev is another step in completing the global network of regional outposts.