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informing consumers about prescription changes is a headache file

Faced with disruptions in the sunflower oil market, industry federations are calling on the DGCCRF to relax certain labeling rules.

Fries, chips, ready meals or even biscuits… Sunflower oil is an essential ingredient in the composition of more than “ 8000 products popular with French consumers, according to the Association of Processed Food Products Companies (Adepale). The problem is that Ukraine is the largest producer of sunflower oil in the world and that Russia and Ukraine account for no less than 78% of the world’s exports of this oil. A dependence on the production of these two countries that today makes manufacturers face the shortage of this part of their recipes. † Some manufacturers are already almost deficient in sunflower oil. Starting next week, some will have to replace it with rapeseed oil, soybean oil or palm oil. », says Jérôme Foucault, President of Adepale.

But when a prescription change is made, consumers need to be informed, which is a problem in the current situation. † It would be difficult for manufacturers to acquire all their labels in such a short time, especially as the market for labels and paper in general is currently under pressure. », explains Jérôme Foucault of Adepale.

A technical problem recognized by Olivier Andrault, responsible for the food mission within the consumer association UFC-Que Choisir: “ Usually packaging is ordered in huge quantities, for the whole year. In addition, you must reserve your slot six months in advance. It is not practically or economically possible to change them in a short time. This is why manufacturers in “ consult with the DGCCRF (Editor’s Note: Ensuring accurate information from consumers) to obtain exemptions », explains Jérôme Foucault.

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A unique information site

There are several options on the table: creating a single information site where all products whose recipe is being adapted would be presented. † It is a minimum, but it is very insufficient. We ask that where the replacement part is potentially allergenic, it is indicated directly on each product with a sticker claims Olivier Andrault of UFC-Que Choisir. These are mainly cookies, cakes, chocolates and other products in which soy lecithin has replaced sunflower lecithin.

A request understood by Adepale: “ This is obvious for allergenic products, but also for those whose claim without GMOs or without palm oil, for example, will no longer be true. Ukraine is indeed a major supplier of non-GMO sunseeds and cakes for animal feed. Due to lack of availability, breeders have no choice but to use GMO soy flour. So there seems to be agreement on these specific cases.

But the Association of Processed Food Products Companies (Adepale) is calling for speed in decision-making for the rest of the products, whose recipe change does not involve an allergen or claim that would become misleading: The situation must be unblocked on products that are safe for consumers. It’s urgent ‘ the chairman insists.

At this point, consumer associations are asking for display panels to be put up in the concerned departments indicating changes to recipes and their impact on products. But waiting for the return of the professionals of the large distribution and their opinion on the matter. Indeed, the cost of setting up these information panels would be borne by them. †We temporarily accept that the labels will not be changed due to the situation. But for honest information to consumers, these panels are neededclaims Olivier Andrault of UFC-Que Choisir.

Contacted by Le Figaroassured the DGCCRF that “ the arbitrations have not yet taken place, but that they should take place soon


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