New rules for novel food were adopted. They include food from cloned animals

Novel food can be a newly-developed innovative food or a food that has been produced using new technologies and production processes. It can also include traditional foods from third countries that has never been eaten before in the EU. The legislative resolution adopted by the EU parliament approved plans to make it easier to get these novel foods approved.

The text was adopted by 359 votes in favour, 202 against and 127 abstentions. The centre-right group EU People’s Party and the Conservatives from ECR were able to reach a majority together with the Liberal ALDE members. The Socialist members were split with a majority of them abstaining.

Novel food final vote

Click here to see how each MEP voted.

The proposal lays down the rule for the placing on the Union’s market of novel foods and replaces the current EU regulation on novel foods that dates back to 1997. The rules would subject novel foods to safety evaluation and authorisation via a fully harmonised EU-wide procedure involving the European Food Safety Authority.
The text defines what qualifies as a novel food. Moreover, it askes to the Commission to establish and update a Union list of novel foods that have been authorised to be placed on the market within the EU. Therefore, only the novel food that will be present on this list may be placed on the market.

Spanish Socialists and radical left provide the needed votes to include food from cloned animals

As per an amendment narrowly adopted (after recital 10, amendment 89cp), the proposed rules would also cover food from cloned animals or their descendants until specific legislation on food from animal clones enters into force. The provision passed by 350 votes in favour to 327 against. The same majority as the one on the final vote was able to push it through. On this occasion, the Socialists, Radical Left and Greens opposed. Notably, the votes needed for the adoption of the paragraph came from among the Spanish socialists and radical left delegations (PSOE and PODEMOS), who deviated from their European groups line and voted alongside conservatives and liberals in favour of the amendment. Click here to see how each MEP voted on this amendment (free log-in required).

The adopted rules also include a new definition of nanomaterials and restrictions on animal testing.

The proposal needs now to be approved by the Council too before it can enter into force.

If you want to get more information about novel food click here.

Position of the EU Political groups

The groups in favour of the proposal, the Christian-Democrats, the Conservatives and the Liberals, believe that this Regulation is necessary because since 1997 the food technology has advanced so much that the Union cannot continue without changing an outdated legislation. Moreover, since the agri-food sector is constantly changing, constantly adapting and improving, the legislation needs to be updated as well.
On the contrary, the Socialist MEPs are of the opinion that the proposal does not ensure the safety of novel foods for consumers. It steps on the right of consumers to be informed on what they are actually eating , they argued.

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