“The new EC has spoken of better regulation and growth so we trust them to consider our position and argumentation."

IPA gathers forces in Brussels; seeks EC ear

By Shane STARLING contact

- Last updated on GMT

IPA Europe is focused on winning EU probiotic health claims
IPA Europe is focused on winning EU probiotic health claims

Related tags: European union

The just-formed European iteration of the International Probiotics Association (IPA) has met for the first time at its new Brussels base with Danone, Dupont-Danisco, Chr Hansen, Yakult, Probi and Lallemand all in attendance.

As well as signing by-laws to underwrite the new group, actions were confirmed including new approaches to probiotic strain and cluster research and fresh health claim submissions and gaining an audience with the new EC Health Commissioner, Vytenis Andriukaitis.

Former Yoghurt Live Fermented Milks Association (YLFA) chief Carine Lambert was confirmed as IPA-Europe’s head until “at least the end of the year”.

Lambert told us that aside from driving research projects that could back a first successful health claim application in the EU, the IPA European chapter wanted to raise its European visibility – with consumers, with industry , with scientists, with media, with regulators.

“It was a crucial meeting and we have taken some concrete steps,” ​Lambert said. “There remains no legal status for probiotics in the EU [under Codex] and no health claims so we are working to address that.”

“The new EC has spoken of better regulation and growth so we trust them to consider our position and argumentation. But we need to reintroduce our position to Andriukaitis and we are hoping this will happen in 1-2 months.”

There are no approved probiotic health claims in the EU under the nutrition and health claims regulation (NHCR).

Carine Lambert: new IPA Europe chief

She said the IPA may establish an Asian chapter – even this year – and South America may follow.

Under its new structure the IPA’s HQ moved from Switzerland to the US in February, with Montreal, Canada-based George Paraskevakos (formerly of Lallemand), appointed the new executive director.

Paraskevakos told our sister site NutraIngredients-USA the group would be more nimble​ under its new structure

IPA Europe brought the Global Alliance for Probiotics (GAP) and the Yoghurt Live Fermented Milks Association (YLFA) under its umbrella. It is being run out of the former YLFA offices in Brussels.

 “Helping solve the regulatory deadlock presented to the industry in Europe will also be part of the main priorities of the now created IPA Europe,”​ IPA Europe said in a statement.

The IPA has about 60 members internationally.

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