AUTUMN 1995 NEWSLETTER
Ms. Eluned Morgan (Member of European Parliament) contacted the ECED last March asking for information about eating disorders in Europe. She was concerned about the lack of pan-European research into eating disorders and wanted to raise their profile at a European level.
Ms Morgan MEP put the following questions to the plenary session of the European Parliament.
"In view of the increasing incidence and prevalence of eating disorders throughout the European Community, how does the Commission propose to act in this area? How does the Commission plan to institute or strengthen existing codes of practice which govern diet products and their advertising ?"The response from the Commission is reproduced in full and verbatim below:-
"Community policies and activities have always aimed at ensuring an adequate, varied and safe supply of food. They have also aimed at providing information to consumers to enable them to make informed choices for their food consumption.At first I thought they had sent the transcript of the response to the wrong question !! However it seems that the European Commission either do not understand basic facts about eating disorders or they have no view or policy on the issue. If you are concerned about the European Commission's apparent ignorance or unconcern about eating disorders you can contact you own MEP (or Ms Morgan MEP) via: The European Parliament,
The reports of the scientific committee for food form the basis of Community legislation in the area of foodstuffs. A copy of a recent report, on energy and nutrient intake, is sent directly to the Honourable Member and Secretariat general of the Parliament.
Nutritional aspects are also important parts of specific actions such as the programme Europe against cancer. The commission envisages, in the proposed third action plan on cancer (1995-1999), to continue the "prospective investigation on cancer, nutrition and health" (EPIC network) which includes a monitoring of 350000 people from seven European countries over a ten year period. The correlation between dietary habits and lifestyle should permit conclusions which will also contribute to the provision of nutritional recommendations for consumers. the results of these epidemiological studies will also produce information of relevance to cardiovascular diseases.
Further the Commission included the subject of nutrition in its recent Communication and proposal for Parliament and Council decision adopting a programme of Community action on health promotion, information, education and training within the framework for action in the field of public health.
The Honourable Member will be aware of the existence of Council Directive 89/398/EEC of 3 May 1989 relating to foods for particular nutritional issues (diet foods). Based on this Directive the Commission has adopted a directive on infant formulae and follow-on formulae, is about to adopt a directive on cereal based foods and baby foods intended for infants and young children and is at an advanced stage of elaborating a directive on foods intended for energy restricted diets and weight control"