The publication How to apply the Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation was compiled by food law experts in the Belgian consultancy, EAS, with the objective of shedding some light on the complexities of the EU health claims process for the marketing and R&D departments of small companies.
Patrick Coppens, EAS expert on European food law, told NutraIngredients.com that the guide includes the history of the claims regulation and all the most recent developments so that companies are clear about the data that should be considered when seeking a health claim approval from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
“The guide also charts those claims that were successful and those that were rejected, and more importantly, explains why some dossiers failed and others were approved,” he continued.
According to Coppens, there is still a huge amount of naivety in relation to what substantiation is required for health claim approval on products and smaller companies not up to speed on EU regulatory developments risk squandering investments through incomplete claims applications down the road.
He said that the publication will be particularly beneficial to firms that can not afford in-house regulatory expertise and critical to those departments charged with product innovation. “While the EFSA approach has proved quite stringent, companies will have to learn to adapt through the correct interpretation of data and awareness of how to avoid the pitfalls of other applicants.”
Coppens recently presented on the EU health claims process for ASEAN ingredient suppliers at an EAS seminar in Singapore, who he said are seeking clarity regarding the impact of EFSA’s opinions on their exports to the bloc and on the global market.
And at the Nutraingredients Health Claims 2010 conference last month Coppens also raised the issue of the need for an economic impact assessment of the regulation to address consequences for business, for consumer choice and for future innvoation in the bloc.
At that event, he also highlighted that fact that there is a public right to comment after an EFSA consultation is published and he stressed that there have been changes to the agency's decisions because of information submitted via this route. He said companies should take advantage of this opportunity.