As of 1st July 2012 the long exemption of wine from allergen labelling ceases, with regard, at least, to milk and egg products. These new regulations have not been devised by the food regulation and labeling authorities but by the Directorate-General for Agriculture (DG AGRI) – but are no less welcome for that.
A temporary exemption from the need to label casein/milk products or egg in wine (often used in the fining process) had been granted back in 2007 and the suggestion had been this exemption should be extended, except when the allergens were present 'in a quantity of more than 0.5ppm' but the new regulations have swept all that side and all wines now need to label those allergens, regardless of the quantities used.
However, beware – the provision applies only to wines made completely or partially from grapes harvested from this year and labelled after the 30th of June 2012 – it will not be retroactive. But it does apply to all wines that are entering the EU single market, not just those that are produced in EU Member States. So wines coming from, for example, Australia or Latin America, will either have to prove that they have not used milk and milk-based products, or egg and egg-based products – and sulphites although labelling is already required for them – or will have to label their products as containing those allergens.
However, the commission does see that using pictograms (in addition to, not instead of) in the labelling could be helpful when dealing with multiple language.
First published in August 2012
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