Key facts of the case:
- This reference for a preliminary ruling concerns the interpretation of Article 2(2)(5) and the first subparagraph of Article 4(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods (OJ 2006 L 404, p. 9), as last amended by Commission Regulation (EU) No 116/2010 of 9 February 2010 (OJ 2010 L 37, p. 16; ‘Regulation No 1924/2006’). The reference also concerns the validity of those provisions in the light of Articles 15(1) and 16 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (‘the Charter’).
- The reference has been made in proceedings between Deutsches Weintor eG (‘Deutsches Weintor’), a German wine growers’ cooperative, and the department responsible for supervising the marketing of alcoholic beverages in the Land of Rhineland-Palatinate concerning the description of a wine as ‘easily digestible’ (‘bekömmlich’), indicating reduced acidity levels.
Results (sanctions) and key consequences of the case:
- The first subparagraph of Article 4(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods, as last amended by Commission Regulation (EU) No 116/2010 of 9 February 2010, must be interpreted as meaning that the words ‘health claim’ cover a description such as ‘easily digestible’ that is accompanied by a reference to the reduced content of substances frequently perceived by consumers as being harmful.
- The fact that a producer or distributor of wine is prohibited under Regulation No 1924/2006, as amended by Regulation No 116/2010, without exception, from using a claim of the kind at issue in the main proceedings, even if that claim is inherently correct, is compatible with the first subparagraph of Article 6(1) TEU.
Paragraphs referring to EU Charter:
Deciding body (original language):
European Court of Justice (Third Chamber)