MEPs vote to ban dual quality of products

European Union lawmakers have backed new rules to prohibit the sale of what have come to be known as dual-quality products, a Polish news agency has reported.

Under the new regulations passed by the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday, products marketed under the same brand and in the same packaging in different EU countries should have the same composition and characteristics.

The legislation, which was approved by MEPs with 474 votes to 163 and 14 abstentions, comes in response to complaints from countries in Central and Eastern Europe that shoppers in the region were being offered lower-quality versions of brand-name food products than those sold in Western Europe, Poland’s PAP news agency reported.

Poland’s Central Auditing Office (NIK) was in December cited as saying that multinational food companies offered Polish consumers products of lower quality and with different ingredients than on Western markets.

In October 2017, Poland’s then-Prime Minister Beata Szydło argued at a Visegrad Group summit in Slovakia that deliberate discrimination against food consumers in Central and Eastern Europe was unacceptable.

The four-nation Visegrad Group is a regional cooperation platform that brings together Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

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