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Sugar in Baby Food: MEPs send unpalatable baby food measures back to Commission

Press Release

Wednesday 20 Jan 2016

Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, welcomed the outcome of today’s vote to reject Commission measures enabling baby food manufacturers to add up to three times as much sugar as the recommended limits.

Speaking after the vote in the European Parliament, in Strasbourg, Ms. Childers, who had previously approved the rejection at the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee, said:

“When the Commission was empowered in a regulation by Parliament and the Member States to flesh out technical details of the composition and nutritional information of food for infants and young children, this was certainly not what we had in mind.

“When we got new legislation governing these matters in the EU in 2013, infant and children’s health was our prime concern, and allowing this through would have been a serious failure to tackle the worrisome problems which arise from child obesity.

“This proposed measure rode roughshod over World Health Organisation guidelines, an increasing wealth of research pointing to how sugar can be addictive, and the health impact and cost of poor diets.

“Likewise, we see no reason whatsoever why we should ignore the precautionary principle and open the door to the addition of so-called novel foods generated through nanotechnology, or the use of genetically modified foods in baby and infant foods.

“It was astonishing to see almost half of MEPs standing ready to let these proposed measures through.”