European Union Debates Regulating “Diabetic Foods”

| Jun 1, 1996

The European Parliament continues to debate whether diabetic foods should be regulated by the government, according to recent Reuters reports. All countries in the European Union (EU) oppose such regulation, except Germany.

For several months, the European Commission has considered what regulations should be placed on certain foods for particular nutritional uses. The commission had originally streamlined the legislation to include four products-infant formula, baby foods, weight control foods and special medical products. But diabetic foods were later added to the list at the request of the European Parliament.

Most countries in the EU oppose the regulation of diabetic foods because European diabetes groups have pointed out that people with diabetes don't need special foods; they just need to eat healthy foods. According to an article in the most recent issue of Balance, published by the British Diabetic Association, regulation of special diabetic foods could result in excessively expensive "special foods" which are no better than regular foods, yet are sanctioned by the European Parliament.

Germany said it will need until the end of May to decide if it will concur with the rest of the countries in the EU and oppose the regulation of diabetic foods. Because of the nature of the amendment, the council can only overturn the issue unanimously.

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Categories: Diabetes, Diets, Food, Government & Policy, International

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