The Commission promises to end the practice of “split-level” quality products sold in Eastern and Western Europe
The European Commission has published guidelines on the application of legislation on consumer protection to the food presented on the EU market in “two-level quality”. The document is intended to help national authorities to determine, violates an enterprise or not EU law when selling products of different quality in different countries, reports “Interfax”.
In the event that a violation is transnational, the authorities responsible for the protection of consumers, will be able to counteract this at the European level, explained in the European Commission.
In recent times, there are complaints of a number of Eastern European countries against low quality of goods sold in comparison with Western Europe. There have stated that transnational corporations skimp on quality ingredients for products exported to the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria and Romania, and for example, replace animal fats for vegetable or added sweeteners and glucose syrup instead of natural sugar.
Manufacturers, in turn, assure disgruntled Eastern Europeans of the need for different standards in the food production to meet local taste preferences.
“Offer two different products in the same package and under one brand is an illegal deceptive practices against consumers, which clearly illustrates the fact that we will be able to solve problems of a transnational nature, only by working together at EU level”, – said in Brussels, presenting the new initiative of the Supreme Executive body of the EU, the European Commission’s justice and the rights of consumers Vera Yurova.
The Commissioner noted that member States of the EU, suffering from such practices, is not able alone to find the means to remedy such a situation, which, in her words, “too long”. The initiative aims to ensure that all consumers in the EU must be treated equally, and to help member States in this matter.
Earlier on the importance of solving this problem was pointed out in the report on the state of the European Union European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, voiced in the European Parliament on 13 September.
“I do not agree with the fact that in some parts of Europe, people offer foods of lower quality than in other countries, however, under the identical brand name and packaging,” – said the head of the European Commission.
In addition, the Commission intends to develop a methodology aimed at improving comparative tests of food products based on a sound scientific basis. Development allocated 1 million euros.
On 13 October the European Commission will participate in the “summit” consumer – Ministerial meeting in Bratislava, organized by the governments of Slovakia and the Czech Republic and is dedicated to “the double quality of products” in the EU.