This article presents a legal analysis of Peru’s compliance with the WTO TBT Agreement by developing a series of technical regulations on healthapplicable to food known as “octagons”. It starts from the study of the internal regulations in light of the international one, supported by jurisprudence and doctrine, to finally conclude that the Agreement was not fully complied.
Colombia – New tax rates for ultra-processed foods and sugar-sweetened beverages in tax reform bill proposed by the new government
The announced Tax Reform Project for Equality and Social Justice of the Government of Gustavo Petro arrived at the Congress of the Republic.
Among the new sources of money for the State would be taxes on sugary drinks and ultra-processed foods, as well as on single-use plastics and sources of carbon pollution.
Sugar-sweetened beverages and soft drinks would be taxed according to sugar content in grams per 1000 milliliters of beverage. In other words, the more sugar, the more expensive the product will be. This measure is expected to accumulate 1.02 trillion pesos.
In the case of ultra-processed foods, which include sausages, snacks, sweets and powders for preparations, a tax of 10% of the total cost is proposed. With this measure it is estimated to collect at least 1.09 trillion pesos, but it is intended more for the potential adverse effects they have on the health of Colombians. The percentage of GDP with this tax would be 0.15%.
Brazil – MAPA Ordinance eliminates expiration date for fresh packaged products
The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (MAPA in Portuguese) published Ordinance No. 458, which dispenses with the obligation to indicate the expiration date on packaged fresh vegetables. The new ordinance modifies Normative Instruction No. 69/2018 and complies with Resolution RDC No. 259/2002 of the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa), which already provided for the waiver of this information.
The secretary of Agricultural Defense of the Map, José Guilherme Leal, explains that the measure is important in the fight against food waste, because tons of fruit are lost annually in Brazil due to the expiration date, however, without being suitable for the consumption. “The expiration date that appeared on the packaging was not related to the quality of the product, since the consumer himself is able to see if a vegetable product is suitable for consumption only by visual appearance,” said Leal. When buying fresh vegetables, the consumer can identify if they are rotten, withered or smelly, that is, if they are not good for consumption.
Argentina – Vegan and vegetarian foods included in the Argentine Food Code
Through Joint Resolution 5/2022, the Secretariat of Health Quality and the Secretariat of Food, Bioeconomy and Regional Development published the inclusion of vegan and vegetarian foods in the Food Code.
ARTICLE 1 – Article 229 is hereby incorporated into the Argentine Food Code (AAC) and shall be worded as follows: “Article 229: Products that do not contain ingredients of animal origin and/or their derivatives (including additives and coadjuvants) may bear the legends “Only with ingredients of vegetable origin”, “100% vegetable”, “Made from plants”, provided that the manufacturers and importers accredit before the competent Health Authority within the framework of the product authorization such condition.
The term “vegan” is reserved for products that do not contain ingredients of animal origin and/or their derivatives (including additives and coadjuvants) and whose manufacturers and importers accredit before the competent national organizations that their processes and management system guarantee compliance with the above described, which may be verified by an officially recognized entity. These products may include in their labels the legends: “VEGAN PRODUCT” or “VEGAN FOOD”.
The term “vegetarian” is reserved for products that do not contain ingredients of animal origin and/or their derivatives (including additives and coadjuvants), except for the following ingredients and/or their components or derivatives:
- milk, milk products;
- eggs or egg products obtained from live animals;
- honey or bee products.
The labels of these products may include the legends: “VEGETARIAN PRODUCT” or “VEGETARIAN FOOD”, as long as the manufacturers and importers accredit before the competent Health Authority within the framework of the product’s authorization.
Argentina – Published amendments to the Argentine Food Code on coffee
By means of Joint Resolution 4/2022, the Secretariat of Health Quality and Secretariat of Food, Bioeconomics and Regional Development published the modification of Article 1.174 of the Argentine Food Code (CAA) in order to allow the use of flavoring/flavorings other than coffee flavor/flavor in products called Soluble Coffee, Instant Coffee, Coffee Powder Extract and Coffee Powder Concentrate. A review was also carried out on the relevance of contemplating the addition of flavoring/flavorings in the products described in articles 1.165, 1.166, 1.174 bis, 1.170, 1.171, 1.174 and 1.175 of the Argentine Food Code (CAA), referring to other types of coffee.