Boweled over! Prunes win official EU health claim passage

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

“This EFSA ruling has confirmed what people have known for centuries..."
“This EFSA ruling has confirmed what people have known for centuries..."

Related tags: Eu health claim, Nutrition, United kingdom, European union

Prunes sold across the European Union can claim they contribute to “normal bowel function”, making the fruits the first whole fruit to win a claim under the EU’s new food marketing rules.

The claim, written today into the Official Journal of the EU​, can be used if a daily intake of 100 g of prunes is recommended.

The claim has had a rocky ride to EU approval. At the first time of asking it was rejected​ by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), but when an outcry erupted at the verdict in the European and other parliaments, the agency re-assessed the claim and delivered a positive verdict - a rare about face.

The California Prune Board, which worked the claim six years ago, welcomed the development.

“This EFSA ruling has confirmed what people have known for centuries and should help people make a more informed choice about what they are eating and feeding their families,”​ said Mark Dorman, international marketing director of the Californian Prune Board.

“We have been working in the UK and Europe for the past 25 years, raising the profile of California Prunes as the healthy and nutritious commodity they are – we finally now have the EU health ruling which confirms that prunes offer a convenient way to maintain normal bowel function.”

The UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey estimates eight out of ten adults there do not eat enough fibre.

EFSA’s prune (Prunus domestica L.​) approval can be found here.

DHA-EPA omega-3 claims were also approved in the heart health area. More on that tomorrow.

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1 comment

A swallow, but not yet a summer

Posted by paul clayton,

Dangerous outbreak of common sense at EFSA!

Since 2002 EFSA has turned a regulatory Maginot Line initially designed to protect the public, into a Berlin Wall that has crushed the commercialisation of good science and seriously damaged public health.

Let's hope the prune claim is not an isolated incident but the start of real change; one which would allow food & supplement manufacturers to pass information to consumers that would genuinely and materially improve their health.

Next step - plums?

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