Member states urged not to veto health claim victories

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Member states, European union

Member states urged not to veto health claim victories
The leading European food industry group, FoodDrinkEurope (FDE), has issued a missive urging member states not to kibosh positive European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) health claim opinions for up to 130 nutrients.

At a stakeholders meeting in Brussels on October 4, the FDE and other groups learned that some unidentified member states were raising concerns that some vitamin and mineral positive claims may cause over-consumption and so were considering either not backing them, or demanding on-product disclaimers.

The FDE, along with other groups like EHPM (European Federation of Associations of Health Product Manufacturers), think such measures are both unworkable and unnecessary.

Proportionate approach

In a statement, the FDE called on member states to adopt a, “proportionate approach when finalising the Union list of permitted Art. 13.1 health claims together with the European Commission when they convene later this month.”


“FDE is concerned that some member states are now considering excluding several generic health claims despite having received a positive scientific opinion from EFSA during a lengthy assessment process.”

“FDE believes that any decision to restrict or not allow claims that have been judged by EFSA as factually true and scientifically justified, should be carefully considered and well-motivated. As such, food manufacturers believe that scientifically substantiated claims currently under discussion deserve their place in the list of permitted claims.”

EHPM director of European policy, Cynthia Rousselot, agreed positive EFSA opinions should be approved and noted deficiency or sufficiency issues were peculiar to each country and, “not within the scope of the regulation”.

"130 claims could be under threat."

Confusing?

FDE said disclaimers warning that populations may already consume adequate amounts of a particular nutrient could, “confuse or indeed mislead consumers, going against the very principle of consumer information set out in the legislation on health claims.”

The group backed a hasty adoption of the list to create a level playing field for food operators and boost consumer communications, “firmly underpinned by legal certainty”.

More than 2500 article 13 opinions are set to enter EU lawbooks in the first quarter of 2012.

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