Committee Reports::Report No. 84 - Edible Casein and Caseinates, Fruit Juices and Energy Labels::16 December, 1980::Report



Proposals Examined

1. The Joint Committee has examined proposals made by the Commission for the adoption of Council Directives on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to

Edible Casein and Caseinates [COM (79) 9 final],

Fruit Juices and certain similar products [COM (79) 740 final], and

Labelling of the Energy Consumption of certain Household Appliances [COM (80) 193 final].

2. These proposed Directives are all based on Article 100 of the EEC Treaty which empowers the Council, acting unanimously on a proposal from the Commission to “issue directives for the approximation of such provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member States as directly affect the establishment or functioning of the common market.”. The proposed Directive relating to fruit juices and certain similar products is also based on Article 43 of the EEC Treaty as it relates to both agricultural and non-agricultural products.

3. These proposals have been examined for the Joint Committee by its Sub-Committee on Economic, Commercial and Financial Affairs under the Chairmanship of Senator Noel Mulcahy. The Sub-Committee received the views of the Confederation of Irish Industry and the Departments concerned in respect of the proposals. The Joint Committee wishes to express its thanks for the help received. The Joint Committee is indebted to Senator Mulcahy and his Sub-Committee for their work.


Contents of Proposal

4. The provisions of the draft Directive apply to “edible” (i.e. intended for human consumption) caseins and caseinates manufactured in or imported into the EEC. Caseins and caseinates are used in a variety of applications e.g. breakfast cereals, sausages, minced meat, powdered cream for coffee, whipped dessert toppings and dietetic products. The proposed draft Directive does not apply to industrial casein (industrial casein is used in a variety of applications e.g. in the manufacturing of paper glazings and certain luxury buttons) or to products included in the Directive which are for export to non-Member countries.

5. The purpose of the proposed Directive, in general, is to define, at Community level, the manufacturing characteristics and minimum standards of composition to be applied to caseins and caseinates intended for human consumption. The proposal also details the conditions with which these products must comply in order that certain designations may be used in their regard or that their use in the preparation of other foodstuffs may be authorised. The proposed Directive lays down that caseins and caseinates may only be marketed if they conform to the definition and rules in the Directive.

6. Specifically, in relation to definition of manufacturing characteristics and standards of composition for “edible” caseins and caseinates, the proposed Directive if adopted will establish the essential factors of composition, the hygienic criteria to be applied, also the microbiological specifications (germ content), technological adjuvants, organoleptic characteristics (i.e. odour and appearance).

Implications for Ireland

7. The Joint Committee is advised that the manufacturers/trade interests will find no particular difficulty in complying with the provisions of the proposal should it be adopted.

8. There is no national legislation in this area. The Minister for Agriculture would be required to make an Order under the European Communities Act, 1972 as an implementing measure.

9. Legislation giving effect to the provisions of the Directive would have to be enacted not later than two years after the Directive had been notified to the Member States.

Views of the Joint Committee

10. The Joint Committee has no objection to the adoption of this proposal.


11. Council Directive 75/726/EEC as amended by Council Directive 79/168/EEC, prescribes standards for the composition, labelling and packaging of fruit juices and nectars intended for human consumption. From 17th November, 1977 products conforming to the provisions of Directive 75/726/EEC were permitted to circulate freely within the Community and from 19th November, 1978 the marketing of products not so conforming was prohibited. Council Directive 75/726/EEC was given legal effect in Ireland by the Food Standards (Fruit Juices and Fruit Nectars) (European Communities) Regulations, 1978 [S.I. No. 173 of 1978].

12. The main aims of the present proposal are (i) to prohibit the acidification of fruit juices and nectars with food acids and to substitute lemon juice for acidification, and (ii) to bring the labelling provisions for fruit juices and fruit nectars into conformity with the labelling rules for foodstuffs in general laid down in Directive 79/112/EEC on the labelling, presentation, and advertising of foodstuffs for sale to the ultimate consumer.

Implications for Ireland

13. The Joint Committee is advised that adoption of the proposed Directive is unlikely to have any adverse effects on Irish industry. The Committee understands that amendment of the Food Standards (Fruit Juices and Fruit Nectars) (European Communities) Regulations, 1978 would be required.

Views of the Joint Committee

14. The Joint Committee has no objection to the adoption of this proposal.


15. In pursuance of the EEC Programme on the Rational Use of Energy, and following on Council Recommendation 76/496/EEC of 14th May, 1976, on the rational use of energy for electrical household appliances, the Council on 14th May, 1979, adopted a framework Directive on the indication by labelling of the energy consumption of domestic appliances (79/530/EEC). The Directive requires Member States who have, or who introduce, an energy consumption level for specified domestic appliances (ovens, refrigerators and freezers, washing machines, televisions, dishwashers, tumbler dryers, ironing machines) when displayed for sale, to use the label prescribed in implementing Directives, giving information on the energy consumption of the appliance. One such implementing Directive has already been adopted i.e. Directive 79/531/EEC applying to electric ovens the provisions of the framework Directive (79/530/EEC). Both were examined by the Joint Committee in its 48th Report (Prl. 8086) adopted on 30th May, 1979.

16. The proposed Directive allows Member States the choice of imposing energy labelling in their territory but if any energy consumption label is used it must be the one set out in the proposed Directive. Manufacturers or importers will be responsible for measuring the energy consumption and for supplying the labels. It is hoped that the information will influence purchasers to buy appliances which are energy efficient and to prompt manufacturers to reduce energy consumption of their appliances.

17. The Council Directive now proposed for adoption would apply the framework Directive provisions to

(a)electric washing machines,

(b)electric dishwashers with cold water supply only,

(c)electric refrigerators, frozen food cabinets, freezers and combinations thereof.

18. In addition to information on energy consumption, the labels for the washing machines and dishwashers will carry supplementary information, e.g. on washing and drying efficiency, but in these cases it is noted that the figures are provisional pending clarification of the international standards.

Implications for Ireland

19. Of the appliances covered by the proposed Directive, deep freeze units are the only ones manufactured in this country. Following adoption of proposed implementing Directives it will be necessary, if a decision is taken to introduce an energy labelling system in this country, for these manufacturers (or importers) to supply energy consumption labels for the respective appliances, which labels must conform as to information, size and colour with the ones set out in the Directives. The Joint Committee is advised that the cost of the labels would not be significant. There is no existing legislation in this field in this country. If it is decided to impose the labelling system on appliances in this country, it is expected that statutory instruments under the European Communities Act, 1972 will be necessary.

Views of the Joint Committee

20. The Joint Committee welcomes the adoption of the proposed Directive which it sees as a further step in increasing awareness of the need to use energy in the most economic manner.


Chairman of the Joint Committee.

16 December, 1980.