European sports nutrition sector intensifies lobbying ahead of 2015 report

By Shane STARLING contact

- Last updated on GMT

ESSNA: “We have already met with senior officials at the European Commission and have since maintained an ongoing dialogue with them."
ESSNA: “We have already met with senior officials at the European Commission and have since maintained an ongoing dialogue with them."

Related tags: Sports nutrition, European union

The European sports nutrition sector will promote dialogue with regulators at European level ahead of a Commission report due in mid-2015 that could alter the way the multi-billion euro sector is regulated throughout the 28-nation bloc.

The sector’s leading body, the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance’s (ESSNA), has long-campaigned for sports nutrition products to remain under general food law, perhaps with some modifications to recognise its place in the market. It is intensifying its lobbying efforts, especially with the new European Commission in place.

“We think that sport nutrition can be adequately regulated within general food legislation provided appropriate adaptations are made – so that the specific nutritional needs of sports people are recognised,” ​the group told us previously.

One option the European Commission report is considering is for the creation of a regulation tailored specifically to sports foods. For ESSNA, which represents about 50 ingredient suppliers and product manufacturers, this is an unnecessary measure, especially in the light of policing it and others are doing to ensure safe products are on-market.

Necessary adaptations

ESSNA vice-chair Nicholas Morgan reiterated the message at the Food Matters Live conference in London this week. He noted the upcoming changes would have, “enormous implications for sports nutrition products and consumers.”

As I explained at Food Matters Live this week, now is a crucial time for the sports nutrition industry in Europe - we are finally within sight of settling the long-running question of how our sector is regulated. The European Commission has recognised that the European sports nutrition industry is a responsible, innovative and growing one: over the next few months we need to ensure that nothing jeopardises this position, which has taken us many years to get to," ​Morgan said.

“We have already met with senior officials at the European Commission and have since maintained an ongoing dialogue with them.” 

A brand new set of Commissioners with priorities we still need to discover brings new challenges, however, and therefore the next few months are extremely significant as we get ever closer to the report’s deadline. It is important that the necessary adaptations are made within general food law to ensure appropriate regulation for sports nutrition, but we also have to make sure that the subject of specific legislation is closed once and for all by the Commission.”

sports nutrition

“It is therefore now more crucial than ever that the industry as a whole spends the next six months demonstrating its commitment to responsibility and consumer safety, and highlighting its ability to successfully police itself. Through ESSNA’s non-compliance campaign we have worked tirelessly to demonstrate just that, and we encourage other industry leaders to do the same.”

ESSNA members include Carbery, First Milk, Iovate Health Sciences, Mass Nutrition Kostexperten, Maxinutrition Ltd, myprotein.co.uk, NSF, US Nutrition Ltd, Volac, Weider Germany, Glanbia Performance Nutrition and PhD Nutrition.

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