Comisión Europea sobre sin gluten: «el mismo nivel de protección»

Simon Coveney, Irish Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, presiding the 3234th meeting of the Council of the European Union, 22 April 2013. El acuerdo político de diciembre de 2012, sentando las bases para una transferencia de «sin gluten» a la legislación alimentaria general, recientemente se ha formalizado por el Consejo. Al día siguiente, la Comisión Europea anunció lo que le entiende por «como mínimo el mismo nivel de protección»: el mismo nivel de protección que ahora, sino amplió en ámbito de aplicación a los alimentos no preenvasados​​. Esto parece confirmar que el límite en el contenido de gluten (actualmente 20 ppm) seguirá siendo el único requisito.

El resto de este artículo sólo está disponible en parte en español. Enlaces conectan a sitios web y documentos en español, siempre que sea posible. ¿Quieres poner una traducción española de todo el artículo? Avisadme peter.nowee@seriousceliac.eu.

The latest and probably last version contains no substantive changes compared to the political agreement of December 2012 when it comes to the «gluten free» issue. The most prominent change is that the subject moved from Recital 26 to Recital 41.

Voting results Council fist reading 2011/0156(COD), 22 April 2013Formally, the Council vote was on its position at first reading on proposal 2011/0156(COD). Just as with the vote on the political compromise, all countries voted in favor except Germany (against) and UK (abstained). As an explanation, these countries issued exactly the same statements as in December 2012, suggesting their objections are not related to the «gluten free» part.

The European Commission responded to the Council’s decision the next day and wrote about «gluten free»:

«La Comisión apoya la posición del Consejo, que no solo garantizará el mantenimiento del mismo nivel de protección de los consumidores, sino que permitirá también ampliar las normas vigentes a los alimentos [no*] preenvasados, aumentando así la protección de los consumidores.»
Comunicación de la Comisión al Parlamento Europeo, 23 de abril de 2013

(* La versión española dice «a los alimentos preenvasados», pero la versión original, Inglés dice: «to non pre-packed foods», que es más lógico y seguido de otras traducciones.)

Notice how the Commission interprets the political agreement’s words «at least the same level of protection»: The Commissie understands this to mean the same level of protection plus extension of the scope of application to non pre-packed foods. It seems that the Commission is saying that nothing will be added to the current requirement of 20 ppm for carrying a «gluten free» mark. For the Commission, it seems, additional requirements such as those invented by some MEPs last year, such as requirements regarding the nutritional value, vitamins, minerals, production method and medical-scientific research on the composition of the product, are out of the question.

The Commission also mentions the Council’s request to think about making a distinction between food that with ingredients that were made gluten free and naturally gluten free food, although it does not give any comments on this request.

The proposal is now at the European Parliament, where it will probably first be discussed by the ENVI Committee before being tabled in a plenary session for second reading. The Procedure file on 2011/0156(COD) of the European Parliament currently shows 10 June 2013 as a date for both an ENVI Committee vote and consideration in a plenary meeting. An ENVI Committee listing also mentions the date of 29 May 2013.

Considering that the ENVI Committee already approved this agreement last December, the European Parliament will no doubt vote in favor. But perhaps some members will use the opportunity to tell the Commission their opinion on the distinction between rendered gluten free and naturally gluten free foods.

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