Good news for consumers! The European Parliament on September 13 recommended several measures to make it easier to identify and tackle “dual quality” products.

For instance, if a firm sells a product EU-wide, but with compositions that differ between countries, it must not label and brand it in a seemingly identical way, as this may mislead consumers.

According to an EU press release, various tests and surveys conducted around Europe, mainly in Central and Eastern Europe, have proven that products advertised and sold under the same brand and seemingly identical packaging in fact differ in composition and ingredients, to the detriment of consumers.

Such differences were found not only in foods (such as fish fingers, instant soup, coffee and soft drinks), but often also in non-food products, including detergents, cosmetics, toiletries and products intended for babies.

Among the measures recommended by the European On September 13, the European Parliament recommended several measures: cross-border cooperation, comparative tests and better enforcement

Rapporteur Olga Sehnalová (S&D, CZ) said consumers in different countries complain that they do not enjoy access to the same level of quality when buying branded products. “Dual quality products undermine citizens’ confidence in the fair functioning of the EU internal market, and therefore require a solution at EU level. If the product, no matter whether it is a well-known food, drink, cosmetics or detergent, differs even though it appears identical to the consumer, this should be considered an unfair commercial practice. There can be neither second-class products, nor consumers, in the EU.”

The recommendations included in the non-legislative resolution drafted by Sehnalová were approved by 464 votes to 69, with 17 abstentions.