‘Elegant’: Dutch group seeks traditional health claims regulation

By Shane STARLING contact

- Last updated on GMT

NPN: “Herbs at the moment are the biggest problem but not the only problem."
NPN: “Herbs at the moment are the biggest problem but not the only problem."

Related tags: Health claims regulation, European union, European commission

A Dutch healthy foods and supplements association has proposed a traditional claims regulation or amendment to EU health claim laws it says would ‘elegantly’ solve the ongoing and stalled imbroglio about how traditional food use data can back claims.

NPN (Gezondheidsproducten Nederland) director general Saskia Geurts told us the group had submitted an ‘elegant’ proposal to the European Commission last week and had informed other EU national associations of its action this week.

Coming in response to the EC’s 2012 ‘Discussion Paper on Health Claims on Botanicals used in Foods’, which laid out options to deal with the situation including a new directive to deal with botanicals, Geurts said no such drastic move was required.

“We think our proposal is a lean solution to modify the existing law (nutrition and health claims regulation (NHCR)). It is an elegant solution.”

The group emphasised a separation in the debate about traditional data and botanicals, which have been coupled as 1500+ botanical NHCR submissions were put on hold in 2010 over traditional use data concerns. They have remained that way since.

SaskiaGeurts_NPN

“Herbs at the moment are the biggest problem but not the only problem,” ​said Geurts.

NPN said in a statement that, “the free movement of so called ‘botanicals’ became mixed with the problem that, in the [NHCR], the European legislators omitted a simplified procedure for regulating the use of traditional health claims for foods.”

“This problem came to light when attention was drawn to the discrepancy with the fact that traditional therapeutic indications are allowed for medicines under the [EU Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive].”

NPN along with Federsalus in Italy and the UK Health Food Manufacturers' Association (HFMA) have challenged the NHCR in EU courts, arguing for the annulment of the 13.1 general function claim list that contains more than 230 mostly vitamin and mineral-based health claim approvals under the NHCR but has rejected 1500+ claims.

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1 comment

Wonderful

Posted by Aldebert,

With a "traditional health claim", it would be possible to claim that elephant tusk powder has aphrodisiac activity.
Big step for science...

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