Czechs feel liberalising effect of EU food laws

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Black cohosh European union

The implementation of European Union food regulations into Czech law is benefiting the country’s food supplements and functional foods markets, according to a Czech trade association.

The Czech Association of Special Foods (CASF) said decrees that recently transposed the Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive (THMPD) and functional foods regulations, meant many products were more widely available, accompanied by recommended intakes that previously did not exist.

CASF board member, Vaclav Bazata, told ginkgo biloba​ was a classic example of a herbal product that continued to be classified as a medicine in many member states, but which was treated in the manner of a food supplement in the Czech Republic.

It could be purchased without prescription in health food stores and other outlets and came with a recommended dosage of 40mg per day in extract form.

Other herbs that were more widely available under the THMPD included black cohosh (recommended dosage – 20mg), valerian (500mg) and St John’s wort (up to 300mg).

Bazata compared the Czech levels with conservative Belgian levels and those of Lithuania. These included 3mg for black cohosh in Belgium and a ban on the substance in Lithuania

“Each member state is doing this in their own way but we think we are leading the way in showing how to implement these regulations and maintain a liberal market,”​ he said.

“We have also now implemented full mutual recognition principles which means if a product is registered under the THMPD in another member state we will recognise it as safe.”

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