Italy has increased the maximum permitted level (MPL) for vitamin D, B6 and iron permitted in food supplements.
Vitmain D has increased from 10μg to 25μg; vitamin B6 from 6mg to 9,5mg and iron from 21mg to 30mg, reports the French consultancy, Nutraveris.
These MPLs are meant to be regulated under the European Union Food Supplements Directive (FSD) but these have been on hold for many years as member states have failed to agree on harmonised levels.
The previous EU health commissioner John Dalli said the issue was not a priority under his administration, and it is not yet clear what position his successor Tonio Borg will take.
The Italian government also added some plants to its 1200-strong authorised list including Abarema cochliocarpos, Auricularia polytricha, Cinnamomum cassia, Cornus mas, Gentiana acaulis and Prunus mume.
“With Belgium and France, Italy is taking the lead in regulating plant food supplements,” observed Luca Bucchini, PhD, managing director of Rome-based plant law specialists, Hylobates Consulting.
“The plant food supplement decree is proving to be a flexible instrument to reflect new information, though transparency in assessments and decision making should be increased.”
“Italy is also making strides to update maximum levels in light of mutual recognition. Even if further steps are necessary Italy is setting a good example of respecting EU law, and proposing reasonable regulations of botanicals, working with other member states.”
“Coming from a traditional backwater in implementing EU law, this is at last good news for the food supplement industry and consumers. Even in the probiotics controversy, don't underestimate Italy's regulatory know-how.”