Upcoming EU sports nutrition law revamp – a win for industry?

This content item was originally published on www.beveragedaily.com, a William Reed online publication.

By Shane STARLING contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition

The way sports foods are regulated in the EU is set to change. But how? Craig Simpson, EU food law expert with Steptoe & Johnson in the UK, gives his view likely outcomes and industry impacts.

“Certainly one possibility is that sports foods will just fall back into the normal food law – in other words there won’t continue to be as there is at the moment a dedicated legislative framework for specific food groups which will include sports foods,” ​Simpson said recently at FiE in Paris.

Suitability statements, claims

He said he expected the multi-billion euro industry to be able to cope with the changes.

“I don’t think that is going to be as big a deal for industry as it might sound. One thing it will do is remove the possibility to make what they call ‘suitability statements’ on sports food products which does give manufacturers at the moment some scope to make statements which are something like claims.

“In fact there is an argument that you could actually include a health claim in such a statement but that is something that is not really decided and is debated between authorities and industry.”

But the tight EU health claims regime was unlikely to change significantly.

“The bigger issue is the claims that can be made on sports foods today – although they do allow things like protein claims and muscle building claims in terms of protein …and also some other claims on vitamins and so on …still the number of claims that can be made are actually quite restricted and that’s been a problem for industry.”

“Specifically branched chain amino acids – you can’t make any claims on those at the moment despite their massive popularity and widespread usage. Of course if you go the States for example there are amino acid claims all over the shop. So for companies who are operating in Europe that’s quite restrictive for certain sports products.”

More stringent?

sports body buidling steroid dangeous doping

Simpson said the momentum for tighter regulation was being boosted by sector groups like the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Association (ESSNA). 

“It’s true that associations are very responsibly – like ESSNA for example – from what I understand are actually pushing almost for tighter regulation because they want a level playing field and they want the responsibility and the reputation of the industry to improve because at the moment it does seem like they are becoming a scapegoat every time in relation to doping, in relation to safety incidents that are suffered by athletes and so on so I think for that reason they are pushing for a tighter framework which is kind of an unusual situation.”

After publication ESSNA got in touch to say it wasn't tighter regulation the group sought, but appropriate legislation.

Have you developed an interesting sports or energy ingredient?

Then we want to hear about it. 

Entries for the NutraIngredients Awards close Friday January 15th. 

Click HERE​ to find out more.  

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

Turmacin®: Clean Label & Clinically Tested Turmeric

Turmacin®: Clean Label & Clinically Tested Turmeric

Natural Remedies Private Limited | 01-Sep-2021 | Product Presentation

Turmacin® is a clean label project-certified, clinically tested, and clinically safe turmeric extract. Turmacin® is rich in Turmerosaccharides® and doesn't...

How to Enter UK’s £690M CBD Market

How to Enter UK’s £690M CBD Market

The Association for the Cannabinoid Industry | 18-Jun-2021 | Technical / White Paper

The UK has the world’s most developed regulatory framework for legal cannabinoids, such as CBD and CBG. With a 2021 market estimated to be worth £690 million...

Related suppliers

1 comment


Posted by Daniela,

I do think, as a consumer, that we may need a specific legislation only for food for PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES, all the other prodcts can easily be found as food or food supplements siutable for sportspeople, who do perfectly know the physiological role of BCAAs, Beta-alanine etc. in their diet ! of course, regulatory authorities should find a definitition fo PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES... thank you.

Report abuse

Follow us


View more