Time for a ‘Probiotics for Life’ industry website?

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Health claims, European union

In the third excerpt from a NutraIngredients health claims roundtable, our experts wonder whether industry is being creative enough with the new European Union regulations.

For instance how might an industry-backed website called ‘Probiotics for Life’ be interpreted by the regulation?

At the table were Henry Dixon, the owner of UK-based food industry PR firm, Barrett Dixon Bell; Patrick Coppens, a regulatory expert from European Advisory Services in Brussels and Cedric Bourges from the French claims consultancy, NutraVeris.

“EFSA are not changing their criteria and it seems to me that in the short and medium term we have to get used to it,” ​said Dixon. “That means there is going to have to be some creative thinking about how we present the right information, the correct information to the consumer in ways that were not possible or necessary before.”

Neutral and balanced positive information

“One of the things we have looked at is the possibility of creating third party endorsement sites and one we looked at was www.probioticsforlife.org​ which would represent the interests of the probiotics industry – both suppliers and manufacturers – and that could disseminate positive information in a neutral and balanced way about probiotics.”

Asked how such a site could be neutral and balanced if it was industry-backed, Dixon added:

“I think that is unfair. I think it can be neutral and balanced if it is done professionally. It obviously has an agenda but that agenda can be presented in a way that the consumer can understand and can be scientifically backed. They can make their choice but it wouldn’t necessarily link to any specific products on the shelf. It would just say, ‘here are probiotics, here is the science, these are the potential benefits’.”

“It would have to be transparent that it was industry-backed.”

Legal interpretation

Coppens said such a website may not draw unwanted attention from the nutrition and health claims regulation.

“The regulation clearly limits health claims to foods that are intended for the final consumer,” ​he said. “So if there is no specific link between a health message and a branded product then that would not fall under the claims legislation and could be freely made. It’s very important that distinction remains because if that was not the case you would not be able to report scientific findings any more, even for journalists.”

“Of course companies are now looking at ways of limiting damage and looking at ways that they can communicate the health benefits of ingredients. You cannot blame the companies for looking for such solutions but I agree that it should be totally transparent.”

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

Master Immune Health with the Master Antioxidant

Master Immune Health with the Master Antioxidant

Kyowa Hakko Europe GmbH | 15-Sep-2021 | Product Brochure

With increased consumer demand for immune health supplements, ingredients with antioxidant properties have consequently experienced increased demand. One...



BIONAP Srl | 07-Sep-2021 | Product Brochure

COGNIGRAPE™ is a standardized solid extract obtained from a Sicilian grape variety. Thanks to the high content of ANTHOCYANINS and PROANTHOCYANIDINS, COGNIGRAPE™...

Your probiotic solutions provider to support Natural Defenses

Your probiotic solutions provider to support Natural Defenses

Lallemand Health Solutions. Quality Probiotics. Complete Solutions. | 23-Jun-2021 | Product Brochure

Lallemand Health Solutions is a vertically integrated probiotic manufacturer specialized in the research, development, and manufacturing of market-ready...

I am vaccinated, what´s next?

I am vaccinated, what´s next?

Biosearch Life | 16-Jun-2021 | Infographic

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a lot of questions around how the immune system works and how to support it with nutrition. While vaccines work by driving...

Related suppliers

Follow us


View more