EU Council Bans Added Sugar in Fruit Juices

     (CN) – European lawmakers voted Thursday to ban added sugar in fruit juice.
     Germany was the lone opposition in the Council of the European Union, saying the ban will impair “the quality of the affected products.”
     The rule makes it illegal to add sugar to all fruit juices marketed in the EU, regardless of the juice’s origin. Companies also cannot use the phrase “with no added sugars” on fruit-juice labels.
     Member states will have 18 months to make the rule law once it takes effect in June as expected, the council said in a statement from Brussels.
     The industry will enjoy a relatively long “transitional period” to adapt to the new era.
     “To enable the industry to inform the consumers properly both during the transitional period and another 18 months after its end, the directive authorises the food business operators to use a statement on the labels informing the consumers that from a certain date no fruit juices contain added sugars,” accord to the council.
     As tomatoes have made the council’s latest list of fruits used in fruit juices, tomato juice now falls under the new rule. Previously tomato juice fell under the general EU food law.
     The rule also requires juice made from three or more fruits to be labeled as containing “several fruits,” instead of listing each fruit.
     After the vote, Germany said in a declaration that the rule “would lead to a decisively less restrictive EU legislation and would involve a deterioration of the quality of the affected products, and thus potentially misleading consumers as concerns the quality standard.”

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