With little data supporting those concerns, backed by a further European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) assessment, the member states OK’d the positive opinions that had been delivered by EFSA back in 2009 before their writing into Official Journal of the EU this week.
The three claims come with tight conditions of use and are specified to not be used on foods targeting children. The three claims are:
- DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) contributes to the maintenance of normal blood triglyceride levels. On foods providing 2g of DHA in combination with eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Consumers must be warned not to go over 5g DHA-EPA per day.
- DHA and EPA contribute to the maintenance of normal blood triglyceride concentrations. Subtly different from above claim in that both omega-3 forms are prominent. Same 2g intake and 5g maximum limit set.
- DHA and EPA contribute to the maintenance of normal blood pressure. Daily intake of 3g DHA-EPA. Same warning about 5g limit.
Harry Rice, PhD, the VP of scientific and regulatory affairs at Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s (GOED) welcomed the belated passage into the law of the claims, and pointed to wider ramifications.
“Not only are these claims further evidence of the cardiovascular benefits of EPA and DHA, but they stand as a testament to their general safety,” Dr Rice said.
“Because of the rigor behind the claims' evaluations, the adoption of these claims is important not just in the EU, but globally, where other governments may consider the adoption of similar claims.”
He added: “The biggest hoop was what was being made out to be a safety issue. As anticipated, when EFSA came back with its opinion requested by the Commission, it wasn't an issue after all.”
“GOED was never concerned that the claims wouldn't be adopted. We view this as a science-based process and the science supports the claims.”
The three opinions join three others for fructose and alpha-cyclodextrose and blood glucose control; and prunes and bowel control. The six opinions bring the number of approved claims under article 13 of the EU nutrition and health claims regulation to 228.
All the claims can be found here.