France gives food labels a Lee Way as businesses switch from sunflower oil

Paris — France tells food companies up to 6 to change product labels to reflect recipe changes when replacing sunflower oil, whose supply is being squeezed by the war in Ukraine, the largest exporter. The Ministry of Economy said on Tuesday that it would give months.

Ukraine usually accounts for about half of the world’s exports of sunflower oil, one of the world’s most consumed cooking oils, and Ukraine’s shipments stagnated as Russia invaded its neighbors two months ago. doing.

As the food industry moves to replace sunflowers with alternatives such as rapeseed, soybeans and palm oil, companies can demand a temporary exemption from French labeling rules, the ministry’s consumer protection and anti-fraud authorities said. Stated.

Nonetheless, food manufacturers need to provide basic indicators of ingredient changes in packages within 2 months before providing a fully updated ingredient list within 6 months, according to the DGCCRF agency. Says.

He added that recipe changes that suggest a risk of allergies, or recipe changes that undermine product claims, such as not containing organic or palm oil, would not benefit from the labeling grace period.

Sunflower oil is widely used in French fries and potato chips, as well as in other foods such as margarine and biscuits.

Also, sold in bottles as cooking oil, households are in a hurry to secure supply, emptying store shelves in France and other European countries, and shoppers in some supermarket chains. Purchases per person are limited.

This year’s record highs in vegetable oil prices have contributed to global food prices as UN measures have reached record highs.

Vegetable oil supplies could be even more tense as Indonesia, the top producer of palm oil, is preparing to ban the export of certain palm oils to keep domestic prices down.

By Gus Trompiz