Big hopes for EFSA’s big health claim day

Related tags Efsa European union

Big hopes for EFSA’s big health claim day
Shane Starling reports from the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) much anticipated industry stakeholders’ meeting about health claims in Brussels today.

It is the first chance industry has to meet face-to-face with EFSA and the European Commission since the regulation came into force about three years again.

The invite-only and heavily over-subscribed event sees 120 industry members here, full of questions and concerns about EFSA’s scientific health claim dossier assessment process.

Before the meeting, industry expressed a variety of opinions as is to be expected from a regulation that has polarised industry, regulators and even scientists.

Industry comments

Speaking to Shane Starling in the podcast, in order of appearance, are:

· Anne-Sophie Fremont, technical regulatory science and innovation manager, Mead Johnson Nutrition

· Patrick Coppens, secretary general, European Responsible Nutrition Alliance (ERNA)

· Dr Tomas Hatzold, Kraft Foods

· Elodie Limores, R&D, Bio Serae

· Dr Jans Steyns, health and nutrition, Friesland Campina


The event discusses article 13.5 (emerging and proprietary science-based claims) and article 14 claims (children’s and disease reduction) and not article 13.1 claims (generic).

So desperate is industry for answers, that many turned up today from as far away as Paris, sans​-invitation, on the off-chance that they would be permitted entry if there were any no-shows.

There weren’t, leaving those without invitation disgruntled, including a leading scientist from the Pasteur Institute in Paris who says he never received his letter of non-participation from EFSA, and had assumed he could attend.

“Surely they could have a got a bigger room,”​ he told, as the meeting began without him “I am very angry. I don’t have time to spend a day on a train for nothing.”

Media aren’t permitted either, but a lunch has been organised with EFSA’s chief claims scientist, Professor Albert Flynn. Look to in the coming days for the result of that meeting and more industry reaction to Big Monday.

In a parallel move, the supplements industry has called on EFSA to to reassess the article 13.1 claims process. To read about that, click here​.

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