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Article Food and Ag Policy Briefing 11 August

11 August 2020

At the beginning of last week, we reported on how the EU-Vietnam trade agreement had entered into force, and the European Commission saying that 99% of duties on goods traded by both sides would be removed as a result of the deal.

Cyprus made headlines when its national parliament voted not to ratify the EU free trade agreement with Canada amid concerns about one of Cyprus's most celebrated agricultural products - halloumi cheese.

In Romania, a bill was passed to limit trans fats in food, whilst in Germany, the country's main agri-food industry association was accused of watering down the Nutri-Score ratings.

In Slovenia, the government announced plans to amend an agriculture law in order to ban roadside fruit stalls and in Russia, Geographical Indications were introduced into the country's legal code.

In Poland, authorities said they were planning to introduce a "supermarket tax" on 1 January 2021 which is expected to generate about PLN 1.6 billion (€363 million) in revenue in its first year for the state budget. In Ireland, the government announced details of a €50 million aid package aimed at providing income support for 42,000 beef farmers struggling with the economic downturn caused by COVID-19 pandemic.

US FDA, Senate, industry and court action

In the US, industry announced it was committing to phasing out some PFAS chemicals from food packaging.

The FDA released guidance that sets arsenic limits in baby food, and health advocates petitioned the FDA to tighten the regulation of "transition formula" and "toddler milks".

US lawmakers called for an investigation into the acquisition of one of the country's largest lamb processing facilities by JBS and meat giant Tyson denied liability in the COVID-19 wrongful death suit it is facing,

Democat Senators in Congress called for reforms to the pesticide regulatory process which would compel the Environmental Protection Agency to immediately ban an array of pesticides deemed dangerous to human health and the environment.

Finally, in the US courts, a federal judge in Brooklyn New York dismissed a class action lawsuit against Mondelez Global, the maker of Oreo cookies, in which plaintiffs claimed the company deceived consumers by stating that Oreos are "always made with real cocoa."

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