Turkey has published a Guideline for the Turkish Food Codex Labelling and Informing Consumers Regulation (“Guideline”), released in January 2017 (more). The Guideline outlines rules and limitations for information contained on food packaging, including minimum standards. The rules support consistency between food products, requiring food labels avoid being misleading. In turn, these rules support consumers being informed and making conscious choices.

Key points addressed in the Guideline include:

  • Food labels should:
    • Not be misleading.
    • Help consumers to make conscious choices.
  • When considering the deceptiveness of a label or definition, the label, presentation and advertisement should be considered as a whole.
  • Product labels should not be deceptive. A product’s trademarks, names, phrases, terms and visuals should not recall any other product type, in terms of its nature, identity, qualities, composition, quantity, endurance, country of origin, production method etc.
  • The Guideline regulates phrases, synonyms, and translations which must be used on food labels in detail. For example, if the phrase “natural” is used on a food label, the phrase “naturelle” can also be used.
  • Trademarks on the food labels must not be deceptive. For example, the phrases “bio” or “eco” cannot be used on inorganic foods.
  • The term “natural” can only be used to define foods which:
    • Consist of a single component (not containing any component like supplements, aroma etc.) and
    • Are not processed in any way, except via physical, enzymatical or microbiological processes.
  • Phrases like “natural components are used during the production of the subject food”, “production from natural components” can only be used on foods which meet the conditions above.
  • Responsibilities are outlined for food managers and importer, as well as their responsibilities during distant sales.
  • Mandatory information for food labels should be written in Turkish.
  • The Guideline outlines rules for presenting information on food labels about:
    • Substances and ingredients which may cause food intolerance or allergies.
    • Ingredients.
    • Expiration dates and recommended consumption dates.
    • Office of origin.

Please see this link for full text of the Guideline (only available in Turkish).

Information first published in the MA | Gazette, a fortnightly legal update newsletter produced by Moroğlu Arseven.