Food testing campaign to stop misleading branding in EU

The question of dual quality of food products was raised after it was disclosed that in some countries people are sold food of lower quality than in other countries, despite the packaging and branding being identical. The European Commission announced on Friday that it will launch a common testing methodology to put an end to it.

The methodology has been developed by the Commission’s Joint-Research Centre with support of at least 16 Member States and will be ready in April. This would allow Member States authorities to launch a coordinated testing campaign in May.

The tests will involve the composition of a common basket of products which are marketed in most Member States and will include chemical and sensory testing. The aim is to present the first results by the end of 2018.

In September 2017, the Commission published a new guidance for EU Member States on dual quality of food products. Presenting two different products in the same branding package is misleading and prohibited by law.

“We are continuing to roll out our action plan to put an end to the dual quality issue,” said Commissioner Vera Jourová. “The fact that 16 Member States are participating is a clear sign that this is not an East-West divide issue and that we will tackle it together.”

“Consumers are in the driving seat. They should refuse to buy products they consider of lower quality. I also expect the industry to live up to their customers’ expectations and offer products of a same quality across the EU.”

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