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CRN, Merck, DSM, BASF spark new EU food supplements group

By Shane Starling+

11-Mar-2013
Last updated the 11-Mar-2013 at 14:51 GMT

Better dialogue with regulators and scientists is the main purpose of a new European food supplements group formed today by a diverse alliance of national groups and ingredients and supplement players – both small and large.

Ingrid Atteryd, chair of the Swedish food supplements association, Föreningen Svensk Egenvård, and member of the new group – Food Supplements Europe (FSE) - told us the group sought to build “credible and trustful relationships” with regulators.  

“We will work progressively to defend the interests of the sector and build a regulatory environment that is proportionate via constructive dialogue with regulators.”

Founding FSE members are:

  • the Council for Responsible Nutrition UK (CRN-UK)
  • the  Brussels-based European Responsible Nutrition Alliance Nutrition (ERNA)
  • food supplement associations in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Czech republic, Italy
  • ingredient suppliers DSM, BASF, Kemin, Lonza
  • food supplement makers Herbalife, Merck, Bayer, Capsugel, Innéov (Nestlé & L'Oréal JV)

Atteryd said the federation could manage the expectations of such a diverse group, because certainly in the case of European food supplements law, they all wanted the same thing: Greater transparency and proportionality in European food law processes.

“You put both the small and large players together and all can benefit.”

“…a unique partnership…”

In a statement the group said it was open, “to companies or national associations in the sector that subscribe to its vision, aims and principles.”

Ric Hobby, CRN-UK chairman, vice president of worldwide regulatory, government and industry affairs at Herbalife International, and member of Food Supplements Europe (FSE) said in the same statement:“[FSE] is a unique partnership bringing together the vast technical and scientific expertise of company experts with the market and practical knowledge of national associations.”

“Through specific tools and programmes we aim to promote adherence to standards to ensure the safety and quality of food supplements on the EU market and to help shape a positive regulatory environment for the future.”

A spokesperson said while the group was for the moment operating out of the same Brussels office as the European Federation of Associations of Health Product Manufacturers (EHPM) which represents small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs), the two groups would not work together.

One industry observer said FSE was partly born out of a perceived frustration with EHPM’s limited lobbying power due to its SME focus.