EU Legislation, Initiatives, etc.

HM Treasury: The Government has secured the long-term future of a tax break designed to help small, high-growth companies to recruit & retain highly skilled employees by gaining State Aid approval from the European Commission. 
 
The Government convinced the European Commission that the Enterprise Management Incentives (EMI), which provide a tax break on share options offered by small & medium sized companies to their employees, play a crucial role in enabling small firms to recruit & retain the highly skilled employees they need to thrive.
 
The Government is also widening the eligibility criteria so that companies based in the UK which carry out considerable overseas activity can use EMI to recruit key UK-based staff.
Press release ~ Enterprise Management Incentives (EMI)
 
Defra: On 1 September 2009 the EU started the mandatory phase out of 100W and frosted incandescent (or old fashioned) lightbulbs. This new legislation to cut wasted energy and high electricity bills was agreed by EU Member States in December 2008, with support of the UK.
 
The UK has been at the forefront of efforts to cut down energy-inefficient products which cost people more money to run and are bad for the environment as they have higher carbon emissions.  A voluntary initiative to phase out old fashioned bulbs started in 2007 with the keen support of a number of UK energy suppliers and retailers.
 
EU health experts concluded that there is not enough evidence to suggest that modern lamps can aggravate epilepsy or migraines, but Defra & DoH have worked really closely with groups representing those with specific sight and light-sensitive skin conditions to minimise any adverse effects from the use of CFLs.
Press release ~ Defra – Energy saving lightbulbs ~ Energy Saving Trust – Lightbulbs & fittings ~ Eco-design for Energy-using Products Framework Directive ~ Household energy supplier obligations ~  ELC - European Lamp Companies Federation ~  Lighting Association ~ Energy Retail Association
 
ScotGov: Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, has agreed to a formal application to Brussels to recognise Scotland as officially free from tuberculosis. Scotland's Chief Veterinary Officer, Simon Hall, will present evidence to support the application during the next meeting of the Standing Committee on Food Chain and Animal Health (SCoFCAH) to be held on 8 September 2009.
 
Rigorous pre- & post movement testing of cattle coming to Scotland from areas with high incidence of bovine TB has meant that they are now eligible to apply to be recognised as officially TB free. The situation in other parts of the UK is worsening and this exposes Scotland to an increasing risk of disease unless they take steps to prevent it.
 
The final disease controls that will be required are still to be decided. ScotGov is working with livestock industry representatives to address concerns about potential impacts on trade.
Press release ~ ScotGov – Bovine TB
 
FSA: When new European food hygiene legislation came into affect in January 2006, the European Commission made a commitment itself to provide a report by May 2009 that looked at the experience gained from the implementation of the hygiene package by all interested stakeholders.
 
This report was published in July 2009 and is based on information received from member states, representatives of the food industry & consumer organisations at European level and the Commission's Food and Veterinary Office.
 
The Food Standards Agency has issued a letter to interested parties seeking views on the report, which it has now placed on this website along with the Commission's Report.
Press release ~ Background to the 2006 food hygiene legislation ~ Commission 2009 Report on the Hygiene Legislation ~ FSA Letter to Interested Parties – 20 August 2009 ~ SANCO/4150/2009 ~ The Food Hygiene (Wales) Regulations 2006 ~ EU Commission's Food and Veterinary Office
 
FSA: According to the Food Standards Agency, on 5 August 2009, at Abertillery Magistrates Court, in Wales, Asphalia Food Products Ltd was found guilty with respect to 2 separate charges of placing a novel food onto the European market in breach of the Novel Food and Novel Food Ingredients Regulations 1997.
 
The prosecution was brought by Torfaen County Borough Council.  The food supplements that were the subject of the charges are sold in the UK under the brand name Asphalia and contain the novel food ingredient Festuca arundinacea, which is a type of meadow grass.  The supplements have been placed on the market by Asphalia Food Products Ltd without first seeking authorisation for the novel food ingredient.
 
A novel food is a food or food ingredient that does not have a significant history of consumption within the European Union before 15 May 1997, and a pre-market safety evaluation is required for such food or ingredients before they can be marketed legally in the EU.
 
The manufacturer has indicated that Asphalia supplements produced in 2009 do not contain Festuca arundinacea but, to date, there has been no product recall and the products continue to be labelled as Festuca.  In view of this, the number of Asphalia supplements containing Festuca arundinacea presently on sale is unknown.
Press release ~ Asphalia food supplement labels ~ FSA Letter to local authorities in England ~ FSA - Novel foods ~ Asphalia
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