Food experts to offer supplement help

By Alex McNally

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: European union

A European food law group will be giving a masterclass for
supplement companies to help them understand complex regulatory
changes and how to break into new markets.

European Advisory Services (EAS) have set up the workshop in response to an "endless requests​" for information from companies who have been confused by complicated food laws which have been rolled out across the bloc. Last year the health claims regulation came into force, which meant companies who want to make a claim about the nutritional benefits of a product must have it supported by science. Known as article 13, these dossiers were collected by national regulators who had until the beginning of the month to pass them to the European Commission. Before the Commission rubber-stamps the claims, they will be assessed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for scientific eligibility. EAS regulatory affairs manager Stefanie Geiser said: "Health claims have been the number one topic for companies across Europe." ​The group hopes to be able to update attendees with the current state of the health claims regulation, and other important legislation such as the setting of maximum and minimum upper limits. Clarification ​As for the setting of upper limits for supplements and fortified foods, Geiser said: "There are indications that these may be established on the basis of upper safe levels from EFSA, and this could potentially be combined with those of the UK Expert Group on vitamins and minerals in cases where EFSA may lack data on some substances. "In the meantime divergent national rules on maximum limits and herbal ingredients still continue to apply, and we will address strategic approaches to tackling these at the workshop." ​ The workshop, Building a Regulatory Strategy for Marketing Food Supplements in Europe: The key steps to a successful product launch,​ will be held in April in Brussels. Botanicals ​As for botanicals, EFSA released a guidance document in December on how to assess the safety of botanicals for use in food and food supplements. According to EAS, this document will act as a significant point to start discussions. Following a 2004 discussion paper on botanicals and botanical preparations, EFSA asked its scientific committee to prepare two compendia. Comments will be accepted on both until February 15 2008.

Related topics: Regulation & Policy, Suppliers

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