The French Court Ruled That The Country Of Origin Labels Of Milk And Dairy Products Are No Longer Binding

2021-01-31   |   by CusiGO

In 2017, France began labeling processed meat and dairy products with country of origin, which was effective in principle for two years, but was later extended by decree. Some large dairy companies are not satisfied with this measure because it is a protectionist measure that may lead to the division of the single market, while others support this measure because it is a way to provide transparent information to consumers, of course, For many, it’s a way of calling for patriotic consumption of French products.

However, with the launch of this measure, the French company Lactalis also filed a lawsuit to try to prevent the introduction of new labels, The excuse is that it is a measure in violation of the provisions of the European Community on the provision of food information to consumers. Now, a French court has upheld the dairy giant’s claim and ruled that the country of origin labeling of milk and dairy products is no longer mandatory as a measure that contradicts the nature of the “European project” or the single market.

This decision is consistent with another previous decision of the European Court of Justice (ECJ), which held that the origin label of French milk and dairy products contradicts the essence of the European project, He said the label gave way to the instinct of nationalism and even chauvinism (what a country or region belongs to is better or better in any way).

The European Dairy Association (EDA) expressed satisfaction with the resolution, saying that the origin label has always been a problem, which runs counter to the European Union, which has taken too long to solve the problem. The association commented that although it was late, it was a clear message to the European Commission and national legislators to stop any initiatives that violated the single market, especially the origin labeling of milk and dairy products.

With two resolutions, the European dairy industry hopes that the EC, as the body responsible for supervising all matters related to the single market, will strive to uphold the principle of the single market, namely Take appropriate measures to stop stating the origin of milk and dairy products between other countries, such as Spain or Portugal.

EDA took advantage of this opportunity to deliver a speech that many consumers would not agree with, arguing that the success of the European dairy industry is based on European projects and their principles, especially the single market. But the fact is that through this measure, consumers will not be able to determine where the milk sold in supermarkets comes from, and they will not be able to choose whether to buy domestic milk or not. Under the pretext of single market, consumers are deprived of the right to know about the food they consume, which can be regarded as an excuse for dairy companies to manage the market according to their wishes, and can mix and other “adulterate” without punishment.

Finally, I believe we will soon know the response of some companies that support this measure, as well as some consumer associations that are fighting to improve the transparency of the labeling of milk and dairy products. You can learn more from this statement (PDF) of the European dairy association.