FOCUS- The DGCCRF has granted more than 2,900 exemptions allowing manufacturers to modify the composition of their product without modifying the packaging. Find all the products concerned.
Your favorite cod brandade has tasted different for a few weeks and you were wondering if the recipe had changed? You have a fine palate, since it is quite possible that it is part of the list of more than 2900 products whose recipe has recently been modified. In question, the war in Ukraine, which strongly affects the supply of the food industry for the production of certain foodstuffs. Many manufacturers have had to adapt to deal with shortages, in particular that affecting sunflower oil, and replace it with a substitute that does not affect the health of the consumer or the taste of the product too much.
It was therefore necessary to replace certain ingredients quickly, without being able to print new packaging with the new composition. The Ministry of the Economy has in fact granted flexibility to manufacturers in terms of labelling. The goal: “ensure the availability of foodstuffs on the market while guaranteeing safety and preserving consumer information“, specifies the Directorate General for Competition, Consumption and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) on its site.
To be authorized to distribute the product whose recipe is modified, each operator has the obligation to submit a request for exemption to the DGCCRF in order to be able to affix the mention of a modification of ingredients on the packaging. These derogations, which are the subject of a study by the authority, are granted for a period of six months if they are accepted. They are also reviewed after three months.
The competition department also verifies that the difference between the actual composition of the product and its labeling “does not pose a risk to the consumer or deprive him of essential information on the quality of a product“. Once the derogation has been granted, the DGCCRF imposes the inclusion of direct information on the labeling of the product, “visibly and legibly“. If the mention “DEROG” appears near the expiry date of the product, this means that a modification has indeed been made in the composition.
Le Figaro allows you to access the list of nearly 3,000 products whose composition has been modified due to shortages linked to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. You will find information on the name of the product, its brand but also on the nature of the change in the composition of ingredients. Finally, it is also possible to enter the barcode number of your product in our search engine, and the latter will tell you if the product in question is affected by a modification in its recipe.
Among the list of products, we find aperitif biscuits, ready meals, chocolate, soups, sauces… Most of the products present in this list contained sunflower oil, now replaced by oil rapeseed in the majority of cases. Other oils have been used to act as a substitute, such as coconut, palm or soybean oil.