Many EU countries have announced changes to rules food manufacturers must follow on product labelling as the Ukraine war puts pressure on sunflower oil supplies.

Food companies selling any products that require a change of label ingredients used in the product will have 6 months to make alterations. However, they must give consumers a basic indication of any recipe change within two months.

And, for consumers who may be concerned about food allergies, suppliers will have to immediately affix a sticker on the product or make a marking near the list of ingredients.

Ukraine is the world’s largest exporter of sunflower oil. Russia lies second on the list. Food manufacturers across the world have started to make changes to recipes as the war hits the trade in sunflower oil and pushes up prices from other sources.

A French consumer watchdog UFC-Que Choisir said:

“The two months of leeway given to manufacturers in the absence of a health risk meant information in stores would be “too general” and would “not allow the customer to identify the modified products when shopping”.

In the UK, Tesco this week joined Morrisons and Waitrose in limiting the purchases of cooking oil to two a person.

This month, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reported world commodity prices reached new record heights in March, with cooking oils from sunflower to palm, soy and rapeseed all rising.

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