EFSA publishes list of functional article 13 health claims

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Claims European union European commission

EFSA has published the list of functional health claims it has received from the Commission to be assessed under article 13 of the new health claims regulation; while the publication has been cautiously welcomed by industry, doubts remain about meeting the January 2010 deadline.

Article 13 refers to claims that are based on generally accepted scientific evidence. The structural claims in the new list refer to the role of a nutrient or substance in growth, development and bodily functions; psychological and behavioural functions; slimming and weight control, satiety or reduction of available energy from the diet.

Notable exceptions are claims related to children’s development, health, or disease risk reduction.

The list, available, here​, gives the evaluation status for each claim, and the assessment deadline.

EFSA said it has received a total of 4185 main health claim entries, each comprised of a food component, a health relationship, and an example of working. During screening, EFSA says it “identified a number of claims where further clarification or information is required before EFSA can start its evaluation”.

The deadline for the European Commission to draw up a position list of permitted function claims in the EU is January 2010.

Lorene Courrege, EHPM Director of Regulatory Affairs, said: “EHPM welcomes the official publication of the list, as a long period of time has passed since the Member States submitted their national claims lists on 31 January 2008.”

She said that EHPM will be looking at it closely to see whether it is satisfied.

But she added: “We are concerned, however, that the January 2010 deadline for adopting the article 13 list may not be feasible, taking into account the timing set for EFSA's review.”

EFSA’s agenda

EFSA has set out a timeline for assessing the article 13 claims as follows:

  • End July 2009: Assess about 1000 main entries which have passed pre-screening and have not been substantially modified.
  • End November 2009: Assess about 470 main claims that have been amended since their original submission in November 2008 but subsequently passed pre-screening
  • Deadline to be determined: Assess the remaining 2700 claims.

The remaining claims include new ones received in December 2008; previously submitted claims for which changed were received in December 2008; and all claims that have not passed pre-screening, and for which more information is needed before they can be evaluated.

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