Where’s the CLA body fat opinion, asks Cognis

By Jess Halliday

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Cognis Conjugated linoleic acid Obesity

Cognis is trawling through this week’s article 13.1 claims with a fine tooth comb, after noting that the opinions on CLA do not appear to address its main marketing angle, on body fat reduction.

As this week’s batch of article 13.1 health claims sinks in, ingredients companies and claim-watchers are sharing their views on the latest yeahs and nays. The latest batch, the last now until June 2011’s omnibus edition, was unveiled on Tuesday afternoon, and with 808 opinions it’s made for interesting – if frustrating – reading.

Cognis is counting itself amongst the winners as DHA and vitamin E both received good news – DHA on triglyceride levels, brain function, vision, and vitamin E on DNA protection, immunity, bones, teeth, hair and skin.

Whilst several conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) were turned down, on body weight, lean body mass, insulin sensitivity, and DNA protection, Cognis is pointing out that its CLA, sold under the brand name Tonalin, is marketed not as a weight loss ingredient but for body fat reduction. It says this means the relevant claim does not seem to have been addressed yet.

The body fat claim has double-randomised and placebo controlled studies behind it, the company says. “This is why we will review the opinion in detail and raise our concerns with the European Commission to clarify whether our claims will be evaluated in a later batch,”​ said Dr Arne Ptock, global product line manager Tonalin, Cognis Nutrition & Health.

EFSA has said it will publish a list of the outstanding article 13.1 claims on its website in due course. This list will not include botanicals, which are being set aside for now. Article 13.1 claims for botanicals are troublesome because under the Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive (THMPD) they could make claims with little proof other than traditional usage – while under the health claims regulation EFSA has been seeking randomised clinical trials.

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