Following an objection, The European Commission will now have to bring regulations in line with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendations and the World Health Assembly’s requirement that baby foods should not be marketed for use before 6 months of age.
WHO recommends limiting the intake of free sugars to less than 10% of total energy intake, with less than 5% for health benefits.
If the proposed marketing rules were introduced, baby food would be labelled for use from four months of age.
Following the objection, MEP Keith Taylor, who rejected the drafted rules, said: “The European Parliament has today voted to put the health of babies and children first. The health risks associated with excessive sugar consumption are now widely accepted… The introduction of such high levels of sugar to foods – especially so early – is likely to contribute to the rising levels of childhood obesity and may affect the developing taste preferences of children.”
While Keith Taylor’s objection vote saw victory, his call for zero tolerance on the use of pesticides in baby foods was not supported.
The European Parliament’s vote now means the marketing regulations on baby foods will be rejected, with a recommendation submitted to the European Commission to review evidence before making a new proposal.
Keep up to date with the latest news from MIDIRS by signing up to our e-newsletter. Sign-up