This was the case both within and outside Europe, according to the Brussels-based consultancy, European Advisory Services (EAS), which hosted the event.
Typical areas of uncertainty within the European Union included maximum permitted levels of nutrients permitted in food supplements; rules governing botanicals and the progress of claim opinions being issued by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) under the nutrition and health claims regulation.
While European legislation was not mimicked in other regions of the world such as Asia and Latin America, parallels existed, especially in a global environment where the World Health Organization’s international regulation guidance body, Codex, wielded such homogenising influence.
“Health claims is at the top of the agenda not only in Europe but in regions across the world and at international level,” said Dr Daniel Tsi, regional director of EAS’s Singapore office. “Many parts of Asia are also in the process of reviewing their existing claims regulations for food and health supplements.”
The workshop also discussed key elements in successfully launching food supplement products across multiple markets, especially in Europe. Product entrance strategies for nutritional and herbal ingredients, health claims and labelling, as well as Novel Foods were broached.
“With all of the EU legislative changes now coming to fruition we are entering a new regulatory era for food law as a whole, and what we’ve found is that many companies are still unclear on which areas are harmonised and which are not,” said EAS regulatory adviser Pieter Lagae.
“The workshop helped to clarify these borderlines in relation to food supplements, and point participants in the right direction to successfully get their products through the necessary procedures.”
EAS is hosting another workshop in Malaysia on 18 November.