EP denies ban on selling eggs by the dozen or "unhealthy" foods

MEPs are neither trying to ban the sale of eggs by the dozen nor the sale or marketing of Nutella. MEP Renate Sommer, who is steering legislation on food labelling through the European Parliament, stressed that there will be no changes to selling foods by number. Selling eggs by the dozen, for example, will not be banned.

Under current proposals, salt, fat and sugar content would become mandatory information on food labels. Other, existing legislation sets out rules on 'nutrient profiles', a system that will control a product's right to carry health and nutrition claims, such as "high in calcium" or "good for your heart". There is no proposal to put health warnings on food labels or to ban the marketing or sale of any products such as Nutella.

Selling eggs by the dozen will not be illegal under the terms of the amendments adopted by the European Parliament to EU food labelling proposals.  Labels will still be able to indicate the number of food items in a pack, whether of eggs, bread rolls or fish fingers.

Reports that claim the new rules will not allow both the weight and the quantity to be displayed are also wrong.  The new food labelling regulation does not affect existing EU rules on the size of eggs:  There are four official sizes of eggs: very large (73g and over), large (63g to 73g), medium (53g to 63g), and small (under 53g) - this will not change.

The proposed legislation will only be approved if and when it is agreed by the European Parliament and EU Member States. Parliament voted a series of amendments on food labelling legislation on 16 June in first reading. Discussions are ongoing and no agreement is expected before mid 2011. The rules would come into effect three years later for businesses (or five years for small businesses) to allow them time to adapt, so this will not affect supermarkets and grocers until 2014 at the earliest.

European Commission put forward early 2008 its proposal for Regulation on food labelling rules, aiming to protect consumers by providing full and clear information about the food products they buy.