EFSA gut/immune health meeting

Health claims: Is the idea of disease risk factors, itself diseased?

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Nutrition Epidemiology

Bischoff: Who will answer the "open questions"?
Bischoff: Who will answer the "open questions"?
Differentiating between disease risk factors and disease reduction in the way that the 2006 nutrition and health claim regulation does is too arbitrary and needs revision, according to a German nutrition professor. But if such a change is needed, who should lead the charge?

At the recent European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) gut/immune function meeting in Amsterdam, Stephan Bischoff, PhD, professor and chair at the Department of Nutritional Medicine at the University of Hohenheim, said EFSA’s very own health claims panel could be a good place to start.

Professor Bischoff called on the Panel on Dietietic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) to address this and other “open questions”.

“The question to me is whether the panel is ready to work on these open questions or whether they have the expectation that the scientists and the companies have to solve all these questions,” ​he said. “Somebody has to solve it, this is very clear now.”

An example is antibiotic associated diarrhoea, which Dr Bischoff believes should be treated as a risk factor to disease, not a disease itself.

“The scientists [on the NDA panel] should stand up and say, this is not possible what you are asking us. They should realise there are limitations to fulfil the criteria of the regulation.”

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