HomelabelsEstablishment headquarters, milk origin and expiry decrees, GIFT denounces the Commission to ...

Establishment headquarters, milk origin and expiry decrees, GIFT denounces the Commission to the European mediator

The legal uncertainty linked to the application of Legislative Decree 145/17 (plant location) and ministerial decrees on the origin of pasta, rice, milk, tomato and milk has exceeded all limits. However, since the European Commission persists in tolerating the formal survival of inapplicable national rules - as contrary to EU law - GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade) reported his maladministration to theombudsman. European Ombudsman, last call.

The Italian regulations reported in Brussels

The Italian state adopted, in 2017, four decrees on food labeling:

- legislative decree 145/2017, requiring the indication of the location of the production plant (or if different, of packaging) on ​​the labels of food products Made in Italy:,

- ministerial decree 26.7.17, on the mandatory labeling of the origin of wheat in pasta, (1)

- ministerial decree 26.7.17, regarding the mandatory indication of the origin of paddy rice,

- ministerial decree 16.11.17, regarding the mandatory indication of the tomato origin.

A further decree, with the obligation to indicate the origin of milk on the label of dairy products Made in Italy:, has in turn received an extension of manifestly illegitimate effect, by means of DM 7.5.18.

The origin labeling of fresh milk is also subject to a previous national constraint which as has already been reported, in imposing an expiration date ex lege, causes unjustified food waste.

Illegality of the Italian regulations reported in Brussels

All provisions cited above affect the information to the consumer relating to food products, subject to harmonized regulation in the EU. In addition to qualifying as technical standards on the marketing of goods. Their effectiveness is therefore conditional on compliance with specific EU rules, which require their prior notification to the European Commission and the suspension of the related legislative process (for a minimum period of three months, so-called stand still period), pending the green light from Brussels. (2)

The Italian state however, it has adopted the measures indicated in disregard of the applicable European rules. By omitting their prior notification to Brussels in some cases, violation of the rules on stand still Period and the prescriptions received from Brussels in other cases. In clear violation, among other things, of the Treaty for the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU 34 and 36).

The Court of Rome (XVIII Civil Section, ordinance 3.1.19 in proceeding nrg 41840/2018, Andrea Oliviero vs Dario Dongo) recognized the inapplicability and non-enforceability to third parties of the legislative decree 145/2017 (relating to the headquarters of the plant). But the condemnation of the former Deputy Minister for Agricultural Policies was not enough to restore certainty to the law.

Public documents that the writer has submitted to the European Commission, however, show a situation of persistent legal uncertainty, also caused by top figures in the public administration. With consequent risks not only for the operators of the food supply chain, still exposed to the risk of disputes against illegitimate rules, but also for the officials of the control authorities. Who risk being personally prosecuted for abuse of office, in the event that they contest rules that they should not apply. ex officio, since illegitimate.

The starvation of the European Commission

The European Commission has received repeated reports regarding the inapplicability of the aforementioned Italian decrees. And it was also placed in default precisely from the writer, on 11.8.19, without however providing the necessary feedback.

The indolent officials of Brussels continue to fail in their duty to ensure the correct application of the Treaties. And instead of doing their job - as in the past, in a similar episode (3) - the Eurocrats even dare to assume the will of deciding if and when to intervene. And therefore, to contribute to the distortion of competition in the internal market.

Serious damage to Italian operators

The principles the free movement of goods, the correct functioning of the internal market and the competitiveness of European companies are redundant in every declaration and policy of the European Commission. But they are blatantly desecrated by the institution itself, when it comes to looking after the interests of millions of SMEs, micro-enterprises and family farms above all. (4)

Bad administration of the European Commission, in these dossier, has caused and still causes immeasurable damage to the various protagonists of the Italian agri-food chain. Uncertainties and fears, illegitimate administrative sanctions and even criminal trials. Where the machinery of justice, often animated by figures without expertise in European food law, can build Dante circles. (5)

Last call, ombudsman

The European Ombudsman he will now have to order the Commission to open an infringement procedure against the Italian State, through the procedure EU-Pilot. To put an end to a massacre that puts the European institutions in a bad light, as well as the Italian ones. And it is perhaps the political link between Rome and Brussels - where Count Paolo Gentiloni Silveri, signatory of all the outlawed decrees, is now Commissioner for Economic Affairs - that explains the shame of the law.

THEombudsman it is tasked with investigating complaints from EU-based citizens and organizations based on maladministration by EU institutions or other bodies. Cases of unfair behaviour, discrimination, unjustified delays or incorrect procedures such as those reported.

Irish Emily O'Reilly (in the cover photo) she was re-elected European mediator by the European Parliament (by secret ballot in plenary session, 320 votes out of 600) on 3.12.19. Emily O'Reilly took up this position on 1.10.13 and has already distinguished herself for various brilliant initiatives, such as the European Commission's stimulus to adopt a Code of Conduct. To you, therefore, the last call, before having to appeal to the Court of Justice.

And the trade associations? The intermediate bodies that should represent farmers and artisans, industry and distribution have neither seen nor heard, in the three years of abuse that their associates have suffered. Vassalage to power or conflicts of interest?

Dario Dongo

Footnotes

(1) The indication of the origin of the wheat used to produce the semolina used in pasta was, among other things, the subject of a recent Antitrust initiative in Italy. See the previous article https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/etichette/origine-grano-in-etichetta-della-pasta-tre-naufragi-per-timore-dell-antitrust

(2) See reg. UE 1169/11, dir. EU 1535/2015

(3) See Pilot 5938/2013 / SNCO

(4) Dongo, Dario (2019). Food Regulations and Enforcement in Italy. Reference Module in Food Science. Elsevier, pp. 1–5. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-08-100596-5.21172-

(5) Among the various examples, the writer recently reported the deed of imputation of the owners of a bar-pastry shop in Florence, on trial for fraud (!), For not having mentioned on the label the location of the establishment where some anniversary sweets were produced. A Kafkaesque situation where the delusional accusatory theorem, in this case of the NAS, was taken up by the Public Prosecutor's Office without any scrutiny of (in) legal validity

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